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Cornell  University 

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LIBRARY       », 



I-irs   Garl  Vail 














London,  England.— Keoan  Paul,  Trench,  TbObner  &  Co.,  Paternoster  House 
Charing  Cross  Koad,  W.  C. 

Entered  according  to  act  of  Congress,  April,  1896,  by  Auotrsnjs  Le  Plongeon, 

in  the  oiHce  of  the  Librarian  of  Conirress,  at  Washing1»n 

AU  rights  of  translation  and  reproduction  reserved 

Press  of  J.  .T.  Little  &  Co. 
Astor  Place,  New  York 

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Brooklyn,  Febbdary  15,  1896. 


Acosta,  Jos6  de. 
Acts  of  the  Apostles. 
JElian,  Claud  inus. 
Alcedo,  Antonio  de. 
Ancona,  Eligio. 



Beltran  de  Santa  Rosa,  Pedro. 

Bernal  Diez  del  Castillo. 


Bhagavata,  Purana. 

Birch,  Henry. 

Blavatsky,  H.  P. 

Brasseur  de  Bourbourg. 

Brinton,  Daniel  G. 

British  and  Foreign  Review. 

Brugsch,  Henry. 

Bunsen,  Christian  Karl  Julius. 

Burckhardt  Barker,  William. 

Cartaud  de  la  Villate. 

Champollion  Figeac. 
Champollion  le  Jeune. 

Charencey,  Hyacinthe  de. 

Cicero,  Marcus  Tullius. 
Cieza  de  Leon,  Pedro. 
Clement  of  Alexandria. 
Clement  of  Rome. 
Codex  Cortesianus. 
Cogolludo,  Diego  Lopez  de. 
Colebrooke,  H.  T. 
Confucius — Kong-foo-tse. 
Cook,  Captain  James. 


Daniel,  Book  of. 

De  Rougfi,  Olivier  Charles  Camille. 

Diodorus  Siculus. 

Dion  Cassius. 

D'Orbigny,  Alcide  Dessalines. 

Dubois  de  Jancigny,  Adolphe  Pliili- 

Du  Chaillu,  Paul. 
Duncker,  Maximilian  Wolfgang. 


Ellis,  William. 
Emerson,  Ralph  Waldo. 



Flaubert,  Uustave. 

Garcilasso  de  la  Vega. 
Genesis,  Book  of. 
Gordon  Gumming,  C.  F. 
Grose,  Henry. 

Haeckel,  Ernest. 
Haliburton,  R.  G. 
Heber,  Bishop  Reginald. 
Heineccius,  Johana  Gott. 
Herrera,  Antonio  dc. 
Hilkiah  (the  High  Priest). 

Hue,  Abbs  Evariste  Rfigis. 
Humphreys,  Heni-y  Noel. 

Isaiah,  Book  of. 



Joshua,  Book  of. 
Juvenal,  Decimus  Junius. 

Kenrick,  John. 
Kings,  n.  Book  of. 
Kingsborough  (Lord),  Edward  King, 
Klaproth,  Heiurich  Julius. 

Landa,  Diego  de. 

Las  Casas,  Bartolomfi  do. 

Layard,  Sir  Henry. 
Lenormant,  Francois. 
Le  Plongeon,  Alice  D. 
Le  Plongeon,  Augustus. 
Lepsius,  Karl  Richard. 
Leviticus,  Book  of. 
Lizana,  Bernardo. 
London  Times. 
Lucius  nL  (Pope). 
Lyell,  Charles. 

Mahabharata,  Adiparva  'Vyasa(other- 

wise  Krishna  Dwaipa^'ana). 
Marco  Polo. 

Marcoy,  Paul  (Lorenzo  de  St.  Bricq). 
Markham,  Clement  R. 
^Matthew's  Gospel. 
Jlolina,  Cristoval  de. 
Jloore,  Thomas. 
Moses  de  Leon. 
Miiller,  Friedrich  Maximilian. 

New  York  Herald. 


Oman,  John  Campbell. 
Ordoliez  y  Aguiar  Ramon  de. 
Osburn,  William. 

Paley,  Dr. 

Papyrus  IV.,  Bulaq  Museum. 



Piazzi  S:nyth,  C. 

Pictet,  Adolplie. 


Pio  Perez,  Juan. 










Ranking,  Jolin. 
Rau,  Charles. 
Rawlinsou,  George. 
Rawliuson,  Sir  Henry. 
Renan,  Ernest. 
Ripa,  Father. 
Robertson,  William. 

Rockhill  Woodville,  W. 
Roman,  Fray  Geronimo. 
Rosny,  Leon  de. 

Salisbury,  Stephen. 

Santa  Buena  Ventura,  Gabriel  de. 

Sayce,  A.  H. 


Schoolcraft,  Henry  R. 

Sclater,  P.  L. 

Seiss,  Joseph  Augustus. 

Squier,  George  E. 

Stephens,  John  L. 

St.  Hilaire,  Barth616my. 



Theopoinpus  de  Quio. 
Torquemada,  Juan  de. 
Troano  MS. 
Two  Chelas. 

Valentini,  PWlipp  J.  J. 
Valmiki,  Ramayana. 

Ward,  William. 
Wheeler,  J.  Talboys. 
Wilkinson,  Sir  Gardner. 
Wilson,  John. 
Wiittke,  Heinrich. 


Young,  Dr. 


Engraved  hy  F.  A.  Ringler  &  Co.,  of  New  York,  from  photograpJis  and 
drawings  hy  the  author. 

I.  Fossil  Shells xviii 

II.  Map  of  Maya  Empire,  from  Troano  MS.          ....  xlii 

III.  Modern  Map  of  Central  America,  with  Maya  symbols    .         .  xliv 

IV.  Map  of  Drowned  Valleys  of  Antillean  Lands,  by  Prof.  J.  "W. 

Spencer,  by  his  permission     ....                  .         .  xlv 

V.  Map  of  West  Indies,  from  Troano  MS Ix 

VI.  Banana  Leaf,  a   token   of   hospitality  among  the  South   Sea 

Islanders.     Prom  Captain  Cook's  Atlas           ....  3 

VII.  Serpent  Heads  found  in  Cay's  Mausoleum,  Chiclleii    .         .  4 
VIII.  Serpent  Head  with  Crown,  carved  on  the  entablature  of  the 
east  fa9ade  of  the  west  wing  of  King  Canclii's  palace  at 

Uxinal                   ...                          .                 .  5 

IX.  Ruins  of  Prince  Coil's  Memorial  Hall  at  Cliicrieii         .         .  7 
X.  Columns   of   the   Portico    of   Prince  Coh's   Memorial   Hall, 

discovered  by  the  author        ....                  .         .  8 

XI.  Altar  at  the  Entrance  of  Funeral  Chamber  in  Prince  CoU's 

Memorial  Hall,  discovered  by  the  author                ...  11 
XII.  One   of   the   Atlautes  supporting  the  Table  of  the  Altar  in 

Prince  Coil's  Memorial  Hall                .                 ...  12 

XIII.  Officials  at  Burmese  Embassy  at  Paris      .....  13 

XIV.  )  Sculptured   Wall   in   the   Chamber   at   the   Foot  of   Prince 
XV.  )    Coh's  Memorial  Hall 14 

XVI.  Part  of  the  East  Fapade  of  AVest  Wing  of  King  Canclii's 

Palace  at  Uxinal,  with  Cosmic  Diagram              ...  16 

XVII.  Maya  Cosmic  Diagram             ....  17 

XVIII.   Sri-Santara,  Hindoo  Cosmic  Diagram                 .         .  33 

XIX.  Ensopli,  Chaldean  Cosmic  Diagram  ...  .36 


PLATES  ^^^^ 

XX.  Head  with  Phoenician  Features,  discovered  by  the  author 

in  1875  in  the  royal  box  tennis  court  at  Chiclien. .         .       58 

XXI.  A  Native  Girl  of  Yucatan 63 

XXII.  Caribs  of  the   Island    of   St.   Vincent.      From   Edwards's 

"  History  of  the  British  Colonies  in  the  West  Indies  "      .       64 

XXIII.  Portal  of  Eastern  Pa9ade  of  the  Palace  at  Chiclien.    Tab- 

leau showing  the  Creator  in  the  Cosmic  Egg    ...       69 

XXIV.  Kneeling  Cynocephalus.     From  the   Temple  of  Death  at 

Uxmal 77 

XXV.  Portico,  with  inscription  resembling  those  of  Palenque       .       81 
XXVI.  Portrait  of  a  Maya  Nobleman  called  Cancoli.     A  bas- 
relief  on  one  of  the  antas  of  tlae  portico  of  Prince  Coh's 

Memorial  Hall  at  Chictien 82 

XXVII.  Portrait  of  a  Maya  Nobleman  called   Clliich.     A  bas- 
relief  on  one  of  the  antse  of  the  portico  of  Prince  Coh's 

Memorial  Hall  ...  82 

XXVIII.  Portrait  of  »  Maya  Chieftain  called  Cul.     Bas-relief  on 
one  of  the  jambs  of  the  entrance  to  the  funeral  chamber 

in  Prince  Coil's  Memorial  Hall 82 

XXIX.  Priest  and  Devotee.     Sculptured  slab  from  Manchg,  now 

in  the  British  Museum     ...  .         .       82 

XXX.  Obelisk,  from  Copan.     Photographed  by  Mr.  Marshall  H. 

Saville  ;  reproduced  by  his  permission  ...       82 

XXXI.  Queen  ZoD.     One  of  the  atlantes  supporting  the  table  of 

the  altar  in  Prince  Coil's  Memorial  Hall  ...       84 

XXXII.  A  Maya  Matron.      One  of  the  atlantes    supporting   the 

table  of  the  altar  in  Prince  Coil's  Memorial  Hall    .  84 

XXXIII.  A  Caiiob  Vase.     Used  in  religious  ceremonies  .  86 

XXXIV.  Slab  from  Altar  in  the  Temple  of  God  of  Rain.     Palenque     109 
XXXV.  Restoration  of  the  Portico  of  Prince  Coil's  Memorial  Hall. 

Drawing  by  the  author     ....  .     130 

XXXVI.  Fish.     Bas-relief  from  Pontiff  Cay's  Mausoleum  at  Chi- 
clien .  .  .  .121 
XXXVII  )  Sculptured  Zapote  Beam,   forming  the  lintel  of  the  en- 
XXXVIII  (     ^''^"^'^  '-^  funeral  chamber  in  Prince  Coli's   Memorial 

'     Hall.     Casts  from  moulds  made  by  tlie  author        .         .     122 
XXXIX.  Fresco  Painting  in  Funeral  Cliamber  in  Prince  Coil's  5Ie- 
morial  Hall.    Queen  Sldo  when  yet  a  young  girl  consult- 
ing Pate  by  the  ceremony  which  the  Chinese  call  Pou      .     128 
XL.  Fresco  painting.     Queen  M6o  asked  in  ^Marriage      .         .     130 
XLI.  Attitude  of  Respect  among  the  Egyptians  .         .         .131 



XLII.  Attitude  of  Respect  among  the  Mayas.     Statue  of  Prince 

Coll  exhumed  from  his  Mausoleum  by  the  author  .     132 

XLIII.  Attitude  of  Respect  among  the  Mayas.     Columns  of  Ka- 

tuns  at  Ak6 .133 

XLIV.  Fresco  Painting  iu  Funeral  Chamber  in  Prince  Coh's  Me- 
morial Hall.     Queen  Moo's  Suitor  consulting  Fate         .     133 
XLV.  Fresco  Painting  in  Funeral  Chamber  in  Prince  Coil's  Me- 
morial Hall.     Citani,  tlie  Friend  of  Queen  Moo,  con- 
sulting an  Aruspicc 134 

XL VI.  Fresco  Painting  in  Funeral  Chamber  in  Prince  Cell's  Me- 
morial Hall.     Prince  Aac  in  Presence  in  the  H-inen    .     134 
XLVn.  Fresco  Painting  iu  Funeral  Chamber  iu  Prince  Coli's  Me- 
morial Hall.     Highpriest  Cay  consulting  Fate        .         .     135 
XLVIH.  Fresco  Painting  in  Funeral  Chamber  in  Prince  Coil's  Me- 
morial Hall.     Prince  Coll  in  Battle         .  .     136 
XLIX.  Fresco  Painting  in  Funeral  Chamber  in  Prince  Coli's  Me- 
morial Hall.     A  Village,    assaulted   by  Prince   Coli's 
Warriors,  abandoned  by  its  Inhabitants  .         .  137 
L.  Fresco  Painting  in  Funeral  Chamber  in  Prince  Coli's  Me- 
morial Hall.    Prince  Coil's  Body  prepared  for  Cremation     138 
LI.  Fresco  painting  in  Prince  Coli's  Memorial  Hall.     Prince 

Aac  proffering  his  Love  to  Queen  M6o  .         .  139 

LII.  Queen  M6o  a  Prisoner  of  War.      Plate  xvii.,  part  ii.,  of 

Troano  JIS .         .     143 

Lin.  Account  of  the  Destruction  of  the  Land  of  Mu.  Slab  in 
the  building  called  Akab-Oib  at  Clliclieii.  Cast  from 
mould  made  by  the  author       .....  146 

LIV.  Account  of  the  Destruction  of  the  Land  of  Mu.     Plate 

v.,  part  ii.,  of  Troano  MS 147 

LV.  I  Calendar  and  an  Account  of  the  Destruction  of  the  Laud 
LVI.  1    of  Mil.     From  the  Codex  Cortesianus   .         .  .     147 

LVII.  Mausoleum  of  Prince  Coll.     Restoration  and  drawing  by 

the  author  .  .         .  .         .     155 

LVIH.  A  Dying  Warrior.     Bas-relief  from  Prince  Coil's  Mauso- 
leum        ...  .  155 
LIX.  Leopard  eating  a  Human  Heart:  Totem  of  Prince  Coll. 

A  bas-relief  from  his  Mausoleum  .         .         .  157 

LX.  Macaw  eating  a  Human  Heart:    Totem  of  Queen   Mdo. 

A  bas-relief  from  Prince  Coil's  Mausoleum     .         .         .     157 
LXI.   Salutation  and  Token  of  Respect  in  Thibet.     From  the 

book  by  Gabriel  Bondalot,  "  Across  Thibet  "  .         .     158 



LXn.  A  Dying  Sphinx  (a  leopard  with  a  human  head)  that  was 

placed  on  the  top  of  Prince  Coh's  Mausoleum        .         .     158 
LXIII.  Javelin  Head  and  Arrow  Points,  found  with  the  Charred 

Remains  of  Prince  Coh  in  his  Mausoleum       .         .         .     159 
LXIV.  Egyptian  Sphinx.     Reproduced  from  a  photograph  by  Mr. 

Edward  Wilson,  by  his  permission  ....     159 

LXV.  Portrait  of  Queen  Moo.     From  a   demi-relief   adorning 
the  entablature  of  the  east  fa9ade  of  the  Governor's  House 

at  Uxmal 166 

LXVI.  Portrait   of  Bishop   Landa,    second    Bishop   of  Yucatan. 
From  an  oil  painting  in    the  Chapter  Hall  of  the  Cathe- 
dral at  Merida ;  reproduced  by  permission  of  the  present 
bishop      ...  ....  .169 

LXVn.  Autograph  of  the  Historian,  Father  Lopez  de  Cogoliudo. 
The  original  is  in  the  possession  of  the  present  Bishop  of 

Yucatan 173 

LXVIII,  Mezzo-relievo  in  Stucco  on  the  Frieze  of   the  Temple  of 

Kabul  at  Izamal.     A  Human  Sacrifice  ....     197 
LXIX.  Fresco  Painting  in  the  Funeral  Chamber  of  Prince  Coil's 

Memorial  Hall.     Adepts  consulting  a  Seer       .  .     232 

LXX.  Fresco  Painting  in  the  Funeral  Chamber  of  Prince  Coh's 
Jlemorial  Hall.     A  Female  Adept   consulting   a  Magic 

Mirror 233 

LXXI.  Part  of  Fa9ade  of  the  Sanctuary  at  Uxmal.     Image  of 

I  the  Winged  Cosmic  Circle 318 

LXXII.  The  Lord  of  the  Yucatan  Forests.     From  life    .         .         .236 
LXXIII.  Part   of  Fa9ade   of  the   Sanctuary  at  Uxmal.     Cosmic 

symbols  carved  on  the  trunk  of  the  Mastodon  .         .     256 


"  To  accept  any  authority  as  final,  and  to 
dispense  with  the  necessity  of  independent  in- 
vestigation, is  destructive  of  all  progress." 
(Man  hy  two  Chelas.) 

"  What  you  have  learned,  verify  hy  expe- 
rience, otherwise  learning  is  vain." 

{Indian  Saying.) 

In  this  work  I  offer  no  theory.  In  questions  of  history 
theories  prove  nothing.  They  are  therefore  out  of  place.  I 
leave  my  readers  to  draw  their  own  inferences  from  the  facts 
presented  for  their  consideration.  Whatever  be  their  conclu- 
sions is  no  concern  of  mine.  One  thing,  however,  is  certain 
— neither  their  opinion  nor  mine  will  alter  events  that  have 
happened  in  the  dim  past  of  which  so  little  is  known  to-day. 
A  record  of  many  of  these  events  has  reached  our  times  writ- 
ten, by  those  who  took  part  in  them,  in  a  language  still  spoken 
by  several  thousands  of  human  beings.  There  we  may  read 
part  of  man's  history  and  follow  the  progress  of  his  civilization. 

The  study — in  situ — of  the  relics  of  the  ancient  Mayas  has 
revealed  such  striking  analogies  between  their  language,  their 
religious  conceptions,  their  cosmogonic  notions,  their  manners 
and  customs,  their  traditions,  their  architecture,  and  the  lan- 
guage, the  religious  conceptions,  the  cosmogonic  notions,  the 
manners  and  customs,  the  traditions,  the  architecture  of  the 

yiii  PREFACE. 

ancient  civilized  nations  of  Asia,  Africa,  and  Europe,  of  which 
we  have  any  knowledge,  that  it  has  become  evident,  to  my 
mind  at  least,  that  such  similarities  are  not  merely  eflfeots  of 
hazard,  but  the  result  of  intimate  communications  that  must 
have  existed  between  aU  of  them;  and  that  distance  was  no 
greater  obstacle  to  their  intercourse  than  it  is  to-day  to  that  of 
the  inhabitants  of  the  various  countries. 

It  has  been,  and  still  is,  a  favorite  hypothesis,  with  certain 
students  of  ethnology,  that  the  "Western  Continent,  now  known 
as  America,  received  its  human  population,  therefore  its  civili- 
zation, from  Asia.  True,  there  is  a  split  in  their  ranks.  They 
are  not  quite  certain  if  the  immigration  in  America  came  from 
Tartary  across  the  Strait  of  Behring,  or  from  Hindostan  over 
the  wastes  of  the  Pacific  Ocean.  This,  however,  is  of  little 

There  are  those  who  pretend,  like  Klaproth,  that  the  cradle 
of  humanity  is  to  be  found  on  the  plateau  of  Pamir,  between 
the  high  peaks  of  the  Himalayan  ranges,  or  like  Messrs.  Eenan 
and  Barthelemy  Saint-Hilaire,  who  place  it  in  the  region  of 
the  Timasus,  in  the  countries  where  the  Bible  says  the  ''  Gar- 
den of  Eden"  was  situated  ;  while  others  are  equally  certain 
man  came  from  Lemuria,  that  submerged  continent  invented 
by  P.  L.  Sclater,  Avhich  HaeckeP  believes  was  the  birthplace 
of  the  primitive  ape-man,  and  which  they  say  now  lies  under 
the  waves  of  the  Indian  Ocean.  The  truth  of  the  matter  is, 
that  these  opinions  are  mere  conjectures,  simple  hjrpotheses, 
and  their  advocates  know  no  more  Avhen  and  where  man  first 
appeared  on  earth  than  the  new-born  babe  Icnows  of  his  sur- 
roundings or  how  he  came. 

The  learned  wranglers  on   this  shadowy  and   dun  point 
'  Haeckel,  Ernst,  Ukt.  of  Creation,  vol.  ii.,  p.  336. 


forget  that  all  leading  geologists  now  agree  in  the  opinion  that 
America  is  the  oldest  known  continent  on  the  face  of  the 
planet ;  that  the  fossil  remains  of  human  beings  found  in  vari- 
ous parts  of  it,  far  distant  from  each  other,  prove  that  man 
lived  there  in  times  immemorial,  and  that  we  have  not  the 
slightest  ray  of  light  to  illumine  the  darkness  that  surrounds 
the  origin  of  those  primeval  men.  Furthermore,  it  is  now 
admitted  by  the  generality  of  scientists,  that  man,  far  from 
descending  from  a  single  pair,  located  in  a  particular  portion 
of  the  earth's  surface,  has  appeared  on  every  part  of  it  where 
the  biological  conditions  have  been  propitious  to  his  develop- 
ment and  maintenance;  and  that  the  production  of  the  various 
species,  with  their  distinct,  weU-marked  anatomical  and  intel- 
lectual characteristics,  was  due  to  the  difference  of  those  bio- 
logical conditions,  and  to  the  general  forces  calling  forth 
animal  life  prevalent  in  the  places  where  each  particular  spe- 
cies has  appeared,  and  whose  distinctive  marks  were  adapted 
to  its  peculiar  environments. 

The  Maya  sages  doubtless  had  reached  similar  conclusions, 
since  they  called  their  country  Mayacli ;  that  is,  "the  land 
first  emerged  from  the  bosom  of  the  deep,"  "the  country 
of  the  shoot;  "  and  the  Egyptians,  according  to  Herodotus, 
boasted  that  "their  ancestors,  in  the  'Lands  of  the  West,' 
were  the  oldest  men  on  earth." 

If  the  opinion  of  LyeU,  Humphry,  and  a  host  of  modern 
geologists,  regarding  the  priority  of  America's  antiquity,  be 
correct,  what  right  have  we  to  gainsay  the  assertion  of  the 
Mayas  and  of  the  Egyptians  in  claiming  likewise  priority  for 
their  people  and  their  country  ? 

It  is  but  natural  to  suppose  that  intelligence  in  man  was 
developed  on   the   oldest   continent,  among  its  most  ancient 


inhabitants;  and  that  its  concomitant,  civilization,  grew  apace 
with  its  development.  When,  at  the  impulse  of  the  instinct  of 
self-preservation,  men  linked  themselves  into  clans,  tribes,  and 
nations,  history  was  born,  and  with  it  a  desire  to  commemo- 
rate the  events  of  which  it  is  composed.  The  art  of  drawing 
or  writing  was  then  invented.  The  incidents  regarded  as 
most  worthy  of  being  remembered  and  preserved  for  the 
knowledge  of  coming  generations  were  carved  on  the  most 
enduring  material  in  their  possession — stone.  And  so  it  is  that 
we  find  to-day  the  cosmogonic  and  religious  notions,  the  rec- 
ords of  natural  phenomena  and  predominant  incidents  in  the 
history  of  their  nation  and  that  of  their  rulers,  sculptured  on 
the  walls  of  the  temples  and  palaces  of  the  civilized  Mayas, 
Chaldeans,  and  Egyptians,  as  on  the  sacred  rocks  and  in  the 
hallowed  caves  of  primitive  uncivilized  man. 

It  is  to  the  monumental  inscriptions  and  to  the  books  of  the 
Mayas  that  we  must  turn  if  we  wish  to  learn  about  the  pri- 
meval traditions  of  mankind,  the  development  of  civilization, 
and  the  events  that  took  place  centuries  before  the  dim  myths 
recorded  as  occurrences  at  the  beginning  of  our  written 

Historians  when  writing  on  the  universal  history  of  the 
race  have  never  taken  into  consideration  that  of  man  in 
America,  and  the  role  that  in  remote  ages  American  nations 
played  on  this  world's  stage,  and  the  influence  they  exerted 
over  the  populations  of  Asia,  Africa,  and  Europe.  Still,  as 
far  as  we  can  scan  the  long  vista  of  the  past  centuries,  the 
Mayas  seem  to  have  had  direct  and  intimate  communications 
with  them. 

This  fact  is  indeed  no  new  revelation,  as  proved  by  the  uni- 
versality of  the  name  Blaya,  which  seems  to  have  been  as  well 


known  by  all  civilized  nations,  thousands  of  years  ago,  as  is  to- 
day that  of  the  English.  Thus  we  meet  with  it  in  Japan,  the 
Islands  of  the  Pacific,  Hindostan,  Asia  Minor,  Egypt,  Greece, 
Equatorial  Africa,  ITorth  and  South  America,  as  well  as  in 
the  countries  known  to  us  as  Central  America,  which  in  those 
times  composed  the  Maya  Empire.  The  seat  of  the  Govern- 
ment and  residence  of  the  rulers  was  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan. 
Wherever  found,  the  name  Maya  is  synonymous  with  power, 
wisdom,  and  learning. 

The  existence  of  the  "Western  Continent  was  no  more  a 
mystery  to  the  inhabitants  of  the  countries  bordering  on  the 
Mediterranean  than  to  those  whose  shores  are  bathed  hj  the 
waves  of  the  Indian  Ocean. 

Valmiki,  in  his  beautiful  epic  the  "  Eamayana,"  says  that, 
in  times  so  remote  that  the  "  sun  had  not  yet  risen  above  the 
horizon,"  the  Mayas,  great  navigators,  terrible  warriors, 
learned  architects,  conquered  the  southern  parts  of  the  Indo- 
Chinese  peninsula  and  established  themselves  there. 

In  the  classic  authors,  Greek  and  Latin,  we  find  frequent 
mention  of  the  great  Saturnian  continent,  distant  many  thou- 
sand stadia  from  the  Pillars  of  Hercules  toward  the  setting 
sun.  Plutarch,  in  his  "Life  of  Solon,"  says  that  when  the 
famed  Greek  legislator  visited  Egjq^t  (600  years  before  the 
Christian  era),  Sonchis,  a  priest  of  Sais,  also  Psenophis,  a 
priest  of  Heliopolis,  told  him  that  9,000  years  since,  the  rela- 
tions of  the  Egyptians  with  the  inhabitants  of  the  "  Lands  of 
the  West "  had  been  interrupted  because  of  the  mud  that  had 
made  the  sea  impassable  after  the  destruction  of  Atlantis  by 

The  same  author  again,  in  his  work,  "  De  Facie  in  Orbe 
Lunge, ' '  has  Scylla  recount  to  his  brother  Lampias  all  he  had 

xii  PREFACE. 

learned  concerning  them  from  a  stranger  he  met  at  Carthage 
returning  from  the  transatlantic  countries. 

That  the  Western  Continent  was  visited  by  Carthaginians  a 
few  years  before  the  inditing  of  Plato's  "Atlantis,"  the  por- 
traits of  men  with  long  beards  and  Phoenician  features,  discov- 
ered by  me  in  1875,  sculptured  on  the  columns  and  antae  of  the 
castle  at  Chichen,  bear  witness.  Diodorus  Siculus  attributes 
the  discovery  of  the  Western  Continent  to  the  Phoenicians,  and 
describes  it  as  "a  country  where  the  landscape  is  varied  by 
very  lofty  mountains,  and  the  temperature  is  always  soft  and 
equable."  Procopius,  alluding  to  it,  says  it  is  several  thousand 
stadia  from  Ogygia,  and  encloses  the  whole  sea,  into  which  a 
multitude  of  rivers,  descending  from  the  highlands,  discharge 
their  waters.  Theopompus,  of  Quio,  speaking  of  its  magni- 
tude, says:  "Compared  with  it,  our  world  is  but  a  small 
island; "  and  Cicero,  mentioning  it,  makes  use  of  nearly  the 
same  words:  "  Omnis  enin  terras  quae  colitur  a  vobis  parva 
quaedam  est  insula."  Aristotle  in  his  work,  "  De  Mirabile 
Auscultatio, "  giving  an  account. of  it,  represents  it  "as  a  very 
large  and  fertile  country,  well  watered  by  abundant  streams;  " 
and  he  refers  to  a  decree  enacted  by  the  Senate  of  Carthage 
toward  the  year  509  b.c,  intended  to  stem  the  current  of  emi- 
gration that  had  set  toward  the  Western  Lands,  as  they  feared 
it  might  prove  detrimental  to  the  prosperity  of  their  city.  The 
belief  in  the  former  existence  of  extensive  lands  in  the  middle 
of  the  Atlantic,  and  their  submergence  in  consequence  of  seis- 
mic convulsions,  existed  among  scientists  even  as  far  down  as 
the  fifth  century  of  the  Christian  era.  Proclus,  one  of  the 
greatest  scholars  of  antiquity,  who  during  thirty -five  j'ears 
was  at  the  head  of  the  Neo-Platonic  school  of  Athens,  and 
was  learned  in  all  the  sciences  known  in  his  days,  in  his  ' '  Com- 

PREFACE.  xiii 

mentaries  on  Plato's  Timseus,"  says:  "The  famous  Atlantis 
exists  no  longer,  but  we  can  hardly  doubt  that  it  did  once,  for 
MarceUus,  who  wrote  a  history  of  Ethiopian  affairs,  says  that 
such  and  so  great  an  island  once  existed,  and  that  it  is  evi- 
denced by  those  who  composed  histories  relative  to  the  external 
sea,  for  they  relate  that  in  this  time  there  were  seven  islands 
in  the  Atlantic  sea  sacred  to  Proserpine;  and,  besides  these, 
three  of  immense  magnitude,  sacred  to  Pluto,  Jupiter,  and 
ISTeptune;  and,  besides  this,  the  inhabitants  of  the  last  island 
(Poseidonis)  preserve  the  memory  of  the  prodigious  magnitude 
of  the  Atlantic  island  as  related  by  their  ancestors,  and  of  its 
governing  for  many  periods  all  the  islands  in  the  Atlantic  sea. 
From  this  isle  one  may  pass  to  other  large  islands  beyond, 
which  are  not  far  from  the  firjn  land  near  which  is  the  true 

It  is  well  to  notice  that,  like  all  the  Maya  authors  who  have 
described  the  awful  cataclysms  that  caused  the  submergence  of 
the  ^^  Land  of  Mu,"  Proclus  mentions  the  existence  of  ten 
countries  or  islands,  as  Plato  did.  Can  this  be  a  mere  coinci- 
dence, or  was  it  actual  geographical  knowledge  on  the  part  of 
these  writers  ? 

Inquiries  are  often  made  as  to  the  causes  that  led  to  the 
interruption  of  the  communications  between  the  inhabitants  of 
the  Western  Continent  and  the  dwellers  on  the  coasts  of  the 
Mediterranean,  after  they  had  been  renewed  by  the  Cartha- 

It  is  evident  that  the  mud  spoken  of  by  the  Egj^ptian 
priests  had  settled  in  the  course  of  centuries,  and  that  the  sea- 
weeds mentioned  by  Hamilco  had  ceased  to  be  a  barrier  suffi- 
cient to  impede  the  passage,  since  Carthaginians  reached  the 
shores  of  Yucatan  at  least  five  hundred  vears  before  the  Chris- 

xiv  PREFACE. 

tian  era.*  These  causes  may  be  found  in  the  destruction  of 
Carthage,  of  its  commerce  and  its  ships,  by  the  Eomans  under 
Publius  Scipio.  The  Eomans  never  were  navigators.  After 
the  fall  of  Carthage,  public  attention  being  directed  to  their 
conquests  in  JSTorthern  Africa,  in  "Western  Asia,  and  in  Greece ; 
to  their  wars  with  the  Teutons  and  the  Cimbri ;  to  their  own 
civil  dissensions  and  to  the  many  other  political  events  that 
preceded  the  decadence  and  disintegration  of  the  Roman  Em- 
pire; the  maritime  expeditions  of  the  Phoenicians  and  of  the 
Carthaginians — their  discoveries  of  distant  and  transatlantic 
countries  became  weU-nigh  forgotten.  On  the  other  hand, 
those  hardy  navigators  kept  their  discoveries  as  secret  as 

With  the  advent  and  ascendency  of  the  Christian  Church, 
the  remembrance  of  the  existence  of  such  lands  that  still  lin- 
gered among  students,"  as  that  of  the  Egyptian  and  Greek 
civilizations,  was  utterly  obliterated  from  the  mind  of  the 

If  we  are  to  believe  TertuUian  and  other  ecclesiastical 
writers,  the  Christians,  during  the  first  centuries  of  the  Chris- 
tian era,  held  in  abhorrence  all  arts  and  sciences,  which,  like 
literature,  they  attributed  to  the  Muses,  and  therefore  regarded 
as  artifices  of  the  devil.  They  consequently  destroyed  all  ves- 
tiges as  well  as  all  means  of  culture.  They  closed  the  acade- 
mies of  Athens,  the  schools  of  Alexandria;  burned  the  libra- 
ries of  the  Serapion  and  other  temples  of  learning,  which 
contained  the  works  of  the  philosophers  and  the  records  of 

'  Juan  de  Torquemada,  Monarquia  Indiana,  lib.  iii.,  cap.  3.  Lizana 
(Bernardo),  Dewcionario  de  nuestm  Senora  de  Itzamal,  etc.,  part  1,  folio 
5,  published  by  Abb6  Brasseur,  in  Landa's  Las  Cosas  de  Tiiaitan,  pp.  349 
et  passim. 

"  Clement  of  Rome,  First  Epistle  to  tbe  Corinthians,  chapter  viii.,  verselS. 


their  researches  in  all  branches  of  human  knowledge  (the 
power  of  steam  and  electricity  not  excepted).  They  depopu- 
lated the.  countries  bathed  by  the  waters  of  the  Mediterranean ; 
plunged  the  populations  of  "Western  Europe  into  ignorance, 
superstition,  fanaticism;  threw  over  them,  as  an  intellectual 
mortuary  paU,  the  black  wave  of  barbarism  that  during  the 
Middle  Ages  came  nigh  wiping  out  all  traces  of  civilization — 
-which  was  salved  from  total  wreck  by  the  followers  of  Ma- 
homet, whose  great  mental  and  scientific  attainments  illumined 
that  night  of  intellectual  darkness  as  a  brilliant  meteor,  too 
soon  extinguished  by  those  minions  of  the  Church,  the  members 
of  the  Holy  Inquisition  established  by  Pope  Lucius  III.  The 
inquisitors,  imitating  their  worthy  predecessors,  the  Metropoli- 
tans of  Constantinople  and  the  bishops  of  Alexandria,  closed 
the  academies  and  public  schools  of  Cordoba,  where  Pope 
Sylvester  II.  and  several  other  high  dignitaries  of  the  Church 
had  been  admitted  as  pupils  and  acquired,  under  the  tuition 
of  Moorish  philosophers,  knowledge  of  medicine,  geographj'', 
rhetoric,  chemistry,  physics,  mathematics,  astronomy,  and  the 
other  sciences  contained  in  the  thousands  of  precious  volumes 
that  formed  the  superb  libraries  which  the  inquisitors  wantonly 
destroyed,  alleging  St.  Paul's  example.^ 

Abundant  proofs  of  the  intimate  communications  of  the 
ancient  Mayas  with  the  civilized  nations  of  Asia,  Africa,  and 
Europe  are  to  be  found  among  the  remains  of  their  ruined 
cities.  Their  peculiar  architecture,  embodying  their  cosmo- 
gonio  and  religious  notions,  is  easily  recognized  in  the  ancient 
architectural  monuments  of  India,  Chaldea,  Egypt,  and  Greece ; 
in  the  great  pyramid  of  Ghizeh,  in  the  famed  Parthenon  of 
Athens.  Although  architecture  is  an  unerring  standard  of  the 
'The  Acts  of  the  Apostles,  chapter  xix. ,  verse  19. 

xvi  PREFACE. 

degree  of  civilization  readied  by  a  people,  and  constitutes, 
therefore,  an  important  factor  in  historical  research;  although 
it  is  as  correct  a  test  of  race  as  is  language,  and  more  easily- 
applied  and  understood,  not  being  subject  to  changes,  I  have 
refrained  from  availing  myself  of  it,  in  order  not  to  increase 
the  limits  of  the  present  work. 

I  reserve  the  teachings  that  may  be  gathered  from  the 
study  of  Maya  monuments  for  a  future  occasion ;  restricting 
my  observations  now  principaUy  to  the  Memorial  Hall  at 
Cliiclien,  dedicated  to  the  manes  of  Prince  Coh  hy  his  sister- 
wife  Queen  Mdo ;  and  to  the  mausoleum,  erected  by  her  order, 
to  contain  his  effigy  and  his  cremated  remains.  In  the  first 
she  caused  to  be  painted,  on  the  walls  of  the  funeral  chamber, 
the  principal  events  of  his  and  her  life,  just  as  the  Egyptian 
kings  had  the  events  of  their  own  lives  painted  on  the  walls  of 
their  tombs. 

Language  is  admitted  to  be  a  most  accurate  guide  in  tracing 
the  family  relation  of  various  peoples,  even  when  inhabiting 
countries  separated  by  vast  extents  of  land  or  water.  In  the 
present  instance,  Maya,  still  spoken  by  thousands  of  human 
beings,  and  in  which  the  inscriptions  sculptured  on  the  walls  of 
the  temples  and  palaces  in  the  ruined  cities  of  Yucatan  are 
written,  as  are  also  the  few  books  of  the  ancient  Maya  sages 
that  have  come  to  our  hands,  Avill  be  the  thread  of  Ariadne 
that  will  guide  us  in  foUoAving  the  tracks  of  the  colonists  from 
Mayaclv  in  their  peregrinations.  In  every  locality  Avhere  their 
name  is  found,  there  also  we  meet  with  their  language,  their 
religious  and  cosmogonic  notions,  their  traditions,  customs, 
architecture,  and  a  host  of  other  indications  of  their  presence 
and  permanency,  and  of  the  influence  they  have  exerted  on 
the  civilization  6f  the  aboriginal  inhabitants. 

PREFACE.  xvii 

My  readers  will  judge  for  themselves  of  the  correctness  of 
this  assertion. 

The  reading  of  the  Maya  inscriptions  and  books,  among 
other  very  interesting  subjects,  reveals  the  origin  of  many 
narratives  that  have  come  dovi^n  to  us,  as  traditions,  in  the 
sacred  books  of  various  nations,  and  which  are  regarded  by 
many  as  inexplicable  myths.  For  instance,  we  find  in  them 
the  history  of  certain  personages  who,  after  their  death,  be- 
came the  gods  most  universally  revered  by  the  Egyptians, 
Isis  and  Osiris,  whose  earthly  history,  related  by  Wilkinson 
and  other  writers  who  regard  it  as  a  myth,  corresponds  ex- 
actly to  that  of  Queen  Moo  and  her  brother-husband  Prince 
Coll,  whose  charred  heart  Avas  found  by  me,  preserved  in  a 
stone  urn,  in  his  mausoleum  at  Cliiclien. 

Osiris,  we  are  told,  was  killed  by  his  brother  through  jeal- 
ousy, and  because  his  murderer  wished  to  seize  the  reins  of  the 
government.  He  made  war  against  the  widow,  his  own  sister, 
whom  he  came  to  hate  bitterly,  after  having  been  madly  in 
love  with  her. 

In  these  same  books  we  learn  the  true  meaning  of  the  tree 
of  Jcnowledge  in  the  middle  of  the  garden;  of  the  temptation 
of  the  woman  by  the  serpent  offering  her  a  fruit.  This  offer- 
ing of  a  fruit,  as  a  declaration  of  love,  which  was  a  common 
occurrence  in  the  every-day  life  of  the  Mayas,  Egjj^ptians,  and 
Greeks,  loses  all  the  seeming  incongruity  it  presents  in  the 
narrative  of  Genesis  for  lack  of  a  Avord  of  explanation.  But 
this  shoAvs  how  very  simple  facts  have  been,  and  still  are,  made 
use  of  by  crafty  men,  such  as  the  highpriest  ITiUciah,  to  de- 
vise religious  speculations  and  impose  on  the  good  faith  of 
ignorant,  credulous,  and  superstitious  masses.  It  is  on  this  story 
of  the  courting  of  Queen  M6o  by  Prince  Aac,  the  murderer  of 

xviii  PREFACE. 

her  husband — purposely  disfigured  by  the  scheming  Jewish 
priest  Hilkiah,  who  made  the  woman  appear  to  have  yielded  to 
her  tempter,  perhaps  out  of  spite  against  the  prophetess  Hul- 
dah,  she  having  refused  to  countenance  his  fraud  and  to 
become  his  accomplice  in  it' — that  rests  the  Avhole  fabric  of 
the  Christian  religion,  which,  since  its  advent  in  the  world,  has 
been  the  cause  of  so  much  bloodshed  and  so  many  atrocious 

In  these  Maya  writings  we  also  meet  with  the  solution  of 
that  much  mooted  question  among  modern  scientists — the  ex- 
istence, destruction,  and  submergence  of  a  large  island  in  the 
Atlantic  Ocean,  as  related  by  Plato  in  his  "  Timseus "  and 
"Critias,"  in  consequence  of  earthquakes  and  volcanic  erup- 
tions. Of  this  dreadful  cataclysm,  in  which  perished  sixty- 
four  millions  of  human  beings,  four  different  authors  have  left 
descriptions  in  the  Maya  language.  Two  of  these  narratives 
are  illustrated — that  contained  in  the  Troano  MS.,^  the  other  in 
the  Codex  Cortesianus.  The  third  has  been  engraved  on  stone 
in  relief,  and  placed  for  safe-keeping  in  a  room  in  a  building  at 
Cliictien,  where  it  exists  to-day,  sheltered  from  the  action  of 
the  elements,  and  preserved  for  the  knowledge  of  coming  gen- 
erations. The  fourth  was  written  thousands  of  miles  from 
Mayach,  in  Athens,  the  brilliant  Grecian  capital,  in  the  form 
of  an  epic  poem,  in  the  Maya  language.  Each  line  of  said 
poem,  formed  by  a  composed  word,  is  the  name  of  one  of  the 
letters  of  the  Greek  alphabet,  rearranged,  as  we  have  it,  four 
hundred  and  three  years  before  the  Christian  era,  under  the 
archonship  of  Euclydes. 

'  3  Kings,  chap,  xxii.,  verse  14  et  passim;  also  2  Chronicles,  chap, 
xxxiv.,  verse  34. 

'  See  Appendix,  note  iii. 

Plate  I. 

PREFACE.  xix 

Fleeing  from  the  -wrath  of  her  brother  Aac,  Queen  Moo 
directed  her  course  toward  the  rising  sun,  in  the  hope  of 
finding  shelter  in  some  of  the  remnants  of  the  Land  of 
Mu,  as  the  Azores,  for  instance.  Failing  to  fall  in  with  such 
place  of  refuge  as  she  was  seeking,  she  continued  her  jour- 
ney eastward,  and  at  last  reached  the  Maya  colonies  that 
for  many  years  had  been  established  on  the  banks  of  the 
Nile.  The  settlers  received  her  with  open  arms,  called 
her  the  "little  sister,"  iaiii  (/sis),  and  proclaimed  her  their 

Before  leaving  her  mother-country  in  the  "West  she  had 
caused  to  be  erected,  not  only  a  memorial  hall  to  the  memory 
of  her  brother-husband,  but  also  a  superb  mausoleum  in  which 
were  placed  his  remains  and  a  statue  representing  him.  On 
the  top  of  the  monmnent  was  his  totem,  a  dying  leopard  with 
a  human  head — a  veritable  sphinx.  Once  established  in  the 
land  of  her  adoption,  did  she  order  the  erection  of  another  of 
his  totems — again  a  leopard  with  human  head — to  preserve 
his  memory  among  her  followers?  The  names  inscribed  on 
the  base  of  the  Egyptian  sphinx  seem  to  suggest  this  conjec- 
ture. Through  the  ages,  this  Egyptian  sphinx  has  been  the 
enigma  of  history.  Has  its  solution  at  last  been  given  by  the 
ancient  Maya  archives  ? 

In  the  appendix  are  presented,  for  the  first  time  in  modern 
ages,  the  cosmogonic  notions  of  the  ancient  Mayas,  re-discov- 
ered by  me.  They  will  be  found  identical  with  those  of  the 
other  civilized  nations  of  antiquity.  In  them  are  embodied 
many  of  the  secret  doctrines  communicated,  in  their  initia- 
tions, to  the  adepts  in  India,  Chaldea,  Egypt,  and  Samothra- 
cia, — the  origin  of  the  worship  of  the  cross,  of  that  of  the 
tree  and  of  the  serpent,  introduced  in  India  by  the  Nagas,  who 


raised  such  a  magnificent  temple  in  Cambodia,  in  the  city  of 
Angor-Thora,  to  their  god,  the  seven-headed  serpent,  the  Ah- 
ac-cliapat  of  the  Mayas,  and  afterward  carried  its  worship 
to  Akkad  and  to  Babylon.  In  these  cosmogonic  notions  we 
also  find  the  reason  why  the  number  ten  was  held  most  sacred 
hy  all  civilized  nations  of  antiquity ;  and  why  the  Mayas,  who 
in  their  scheme  of  numeration  adopted  the  decimal  system,  did 
not  reckon  by  tens  but  by  fives  and  twenties;  and  whj'  they 
used  the  twenty-milHonth  part  of  half  the  meridian  as  stand- 
ard of  lineal  measures. 

In  the  following  pages  I  simply  offer  to  my  readers  the  re- 
lation of  certain  facts  I  have  learned  from  the  sculptures,  the 
monumental  inscriptions  carved  on  the  walls  of  the  ruined  pal- 
aces of  the  Mayas  ;  the  record  of  which  is  likewise  contained 
in  such  of  their  books  as  have  reached  us.  I  venture  only  such 
explanations  as  wiU  make  clear  their  identity  with  the  concep- 
tions, on  the  same  subjects,  of  the  wise  men  of  India,  Chaldea, 
Egypt,  and  Greece.  I  do  not  ask  my  readers  to  accept  d  priori 
my  own  conclusions,  but  to  follow  the  sound  advice  contained 
in  the  Indian  sajdng  quoted  at  the  beginning  of  this  preface, 
"  Verify  hy  experience  what  you  have  learned  ;  "  then,  and  only 
then,  tovm  your  own  opinion.  When  formed,  hold  fast  to  it, 
although  it  may  be  contrary  to  your  preconceived  ideas.  In 
order  to  help  in  the  verification  of  the  facts  herein  presented,  I 
have  illustrated  this  book  Avith  photographs  taken  in  situ, 
drawings  and  plans  according  to  actual,  careful  surveys,  made 
by  me,  of  the  monuments.  The  accuracy  of  said  drawings  and 
plans  can  be  easily  proved  on  the  photogra])hs  themselves.  I 
have  besides  given  many  references  Avhose  correctness  it  is  not 
diificult  to  ascertain. 

This  is  not  a  book  of  romance  or  imagination;  but  a  work — 

PREFACE.  xxi 

one  of  a  series— intended  to  give  ancient  America  its  proper 
place  in  the  universal  history  of  the  world. 

I  have  been  accused  of  promulgating  notions  on  ancient 
America  contrary  to  the  opinion  of  men  regarded  as  authori- 
ties on  American  archseology.  And  so  it  is,  indeed.  Mine  is 
not  the  fault,  however,  although  it  may  be  mj'-  misfortune, 
since  it  has  surely  entailed  upon  me  their  enmity  and  its  conse- 
quences. 'Qntyf^xo  ascefhose  pretended  authorities?  Certainly 
not  the  doctors  and  professors  at  the  head  of  the  universities 
and  colleges  in  the  United  States ;  for  not  only  do  they  know 
absolutely  nothing  of  ancient  American  civilization,  but,  judg- 
ing from  letters  in  my  possession,  the  majority  of  them  refuse 
to  learn  anything  concerning  it. 

It  may  be  inquired.  On  what  ground  can  those  who  have 
published  books  on  the  subject,  in  Europe  or  in  the  United 
States,  establish  their  claim  to  be  regarded  as  authorities? 
"What  do  they  know  of  the  ancient  Mayas,  of  their  customs 
and  manners,  of  their  scientific  or  artistic  attainments?  Do 
they  understand  the  Maya  language?  Can  they  interpret 
one  single  sentence  of  the .  books  in  Avhioh  the  learning  of  the 
Maya  sages,  their  cosmogonic,  geographical,  religious,  and 
scientific  attainments,  are  recorded  ?  From  what  source  have 
they  derived  their  pretended  knowledge?  JSTot  from  the 
writings  of  the  Spanish  chroniclers,  surely.  These  onljr 
wrote  of  the  natives  as  they  found  them  at  the  time  of  and 
long  after,  the  conquest  of  America  by  their  countiymen, 
whose  fanatical  priests  destroyed  by  fire  the  only  sources  of 
information — the  books  and  ancient  records  of  the  Maya 
philosophers  and  historians.  Father  Lopez  de  Cogolludo  in 
his  "  Historia  de  Yucathan,"  '  frankly  admits  that  in  his  time 
■Cogolludo,  Hixtoria  de  Yucathan,  lib.  iv.,  cap.  iii.,  p.  177. 

xxii  PREFACE. 

no  information  could  be  obtained  concerning  the  ancient  his- 
tory of  the  Mayas.  He  says:  "Of  the  peoples  who  first 
settled  in  this  kingdom  of  Yucathan,  or  their  ancient  history, 
I  have  been  unable  to  obtain  any  other  data  than  those  which 
follow."  The  Spanish  chroniclers  do  not  give  one  reliable 
word  about  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  builders  of  the 
grand  antique  edifices,  that  were  objects  of  admiration  to 
them  as  they  are  to  modern  travellers.  The  only  answer  of 
the  natives  to  the  inquiries  of  the  Spaniards  as  to  who  the 
builders  were,  invariably  was,  We  do  not  Tcnow. 

For  fear  of  wounding  the  pride  of  the  pseudo-authorities, 
shall  the  truth  learned  from  the  works  of  the  Maya  sages  and 
the  inscriptions  carved  on  the  walls  of  their  deserted  temples 
and  palaces  be  withheld  from  the  world?  Must  the  errors 
they  propagate  be  allowed  to  stand,  and  the  propagators  not 
be  called  upon  to  prove  the  truth  of  their  statements  ? 

The  so-called  learned  men  of  our  days  are  the  first  to 
oppose  new  ideas  and  the  bearers  of  these.  This  opposition 
will  continue  to  exist  until  the  arrogance  and  self-conceit  of 
superficial  learning  that  still  hover  within  the  walls  of  colleges 
and  universities  have  completely  vanished;  until  the  generalitj'' 
of  intelligent  men,  taking  the  trouble  to  think  for  themselves, 
cease  to  accept  as  implicit  truth  the  ijyse  dixit  of  any  quidam 
who,  pretending  to  know  all  about  a  certain  subject,  pro- 
nounces magisterially  upon  it;  until  intelligent  men  no  longer 
follow  blindly  such  self-appointed  teachers,  always  keeping  in 
mind  that  "  to  accept  any  authority  as  filial,  and  to  dispense 
with  the  necessity  of  independent  investigation,  is  destructive 
of  all  progress."  For,  as  Dr.  Paley  says:  "  There  is  a  princi- 
ple which  cannot  fail  to  keep  a  man  in  everlasting  ignorance; 
this  principle  is  contempt  prior  to  examination. ' ' 

PREFACE.  xxiii 

The  question  is  often  asked,  "  Of  what  practical  utility  can . 
the  knowledge  that  America  was  possibly  the  cradle  of  man's 
civilization  be  to  mankind?  "  To  some,  of  but  little  use  truly; 
but  many  there  are  who  would  be  glad  to  know  the  origin  of 
man's  primitive  traditions  recorded  in  sacred  books  in  the  shape 
of  myths  or  legends,  and  what  were  the  incidents  that  served 
as  basis  on  which  has  been  raised  the  fabric  of  the  various  reli- 
gions that  have  existed  and  do  exist  among  men,  have  been 
and  stiU  are  the  cause  of  so  many  wars,  dissensions,  and  per- 
secutions. This  knowledge  would  also  serve  to  disclose  the 
source  whence  emanated  all  those  superstitions  that  have 
been  and  are  so  many  obstacles  in  the  way  of  man's  physical, 
intellectual,  and  moral  progress;  and  to  free  his  mind  from 
aU  such  trammels,  and  make  of  him,  what  he  claims  to  be, 
the  most  perfect  work  of  creation  on  earth;  also  to  make 
known  the  fact  that  Mayach — not  India — is  the  true  mother 
of  nations. 

Then,  perhaps,  will  be  awakened,  in  the  mind  of  those  in 
whose  power  it  is  to  do  it,  a  desire  to  save  and  preserve  what 
remains  of  the  mural  inscriptions  carved  on  the  Avails  of  the 
ruined  palaces  and  temples  of  the  Mayas,  that  are  being  torn 
to  pieces  by  individuals  commissioned  by  certain  institutions  in 
the  United  States  and  other  places  to  obtain  curios  to  adorn 
their  museums,  regardless  of  the  fact  that  they  are  destroying 
the  remaining  pages  of  ancient  American  history  with  the 
recldess  hand  of  ignorance,  thus  making  themselves  guiltj'  of 
the  crime  of  leze-history  as  well  as  of  iconoclasm. 

Perhaps  also  Avill  be  felt  the  necessity  of  recovering  the 
libraries  of  the  Maya  sages  (hidden  about  the  beginning  of 
the  Christian  era  to  save  them  from  destruction  at  the  hands 
of  the  devastating  hordes  that  invaded  their  country  in  those 

xxiv  PREFACE. 

times),  and  to  learn  from  their  contents  the  wisdom  of  those 
ancient  philosophers,  of  which  that  preserved  in  the  books 
of  the  Brahmins  is  but  the  reflection.  That  wisdom  was  no 
doubt  brought  to  India,  and  from  there  carried  to  Babylon 
and  Egypt  in  very  remote  ages  by  those  Maya  adepts  (Naacal 
— "the  exalted  "),  who,  starting  from  the  land  of  their  birth 
as  missionaries  of  religion  and  civilization,  went  to  Burmah, 
where  they  became  known  as  Nagas,  established  themselves 
in  the  Delckan,  whence  they  carried  their  civilizing  work  aR 
over  the  earth. 

At  the  request  of  friends,  and  to  show  that  the  reading  of 
Maya  inscriptions  and  books  is  no  longer  an  unsolved  enigma, 
and  that  those  who  give  themselves  as  authorities  on  ancient 
Maya  palaeography  are  no  longer  justified  in  guessing  at,  or  in 
forming  theories  as  to  the  meaning  of  the  Maya  sjnnbols 
or  the  contents  of  said  writings,  I  have  translated  verbatim 
the  legend  accompanying  the  image,  in  stucco,  of  a  human 
sacrifice  that  adorned  the  frieze  of  the  celebrated  temple  of 
Kabul  at  Izamal. 

This  legend  I  have  selected  because  it  is  written  with  hie- 
ratic Maya  characters,  that  are  likewise  Egyptian.^  Any  one 
who  can  read  hieratic  Egyptian  inscriptions  will  have  no  diffi- 
culty in  translating  said  legend  b)'^  the  aid  of  a  Maya  diction- 
ary, and  thus  finding  irrefutable  evidence:  1.  That  Mayas  and 
Egyptians  must  have  learned  the  art  of  writing  from  the  same 
masters.  Who  were  these  ?  2.  That  some  of  the  ruined  mon- 
uments of  Yucatan  are  very  ancient,  much  anterior  to  the 
Christian  era,  notwithstanding  the  opinion  to  the  contrary  of 
the    self-styled    authorities    on  Maya    civilization.     3.  That 

'  See  Le  Plongeon's  ancient  Maya  hienitic  alphabet  compared  with  the 
Egyptian  liieratic  alphabet,  in  S(U-ird  Jfi/xlcrius,  Introduction,  p.  xii. 

PREFACE.  xxy 

nothing  now  stands  in  the  way  of  acquiring  a  perfect  knowledge 
of  the  manners  and  customs,  of  the  scientific  attainments,  reli- 
gious and  cosmogonic  conceptions,  of  the  history  of  the  builders 
of  the  ruined  temples  and  palaces  of  the  Mayas. 

May  this  work  receive  the  same  acceptance  from  students  of 
American  archaeology  and  universal  history  as  was  vouchsafed 
to  "  Sacred  Mysteries  among  the  Mayas  and  the  Quiches."  It 
is  written  for  the  same  purpose  and  in  the  same  spirit. 

Augustus  Le  Plongeon,  M.D. 
New  York,  January,  1896. 



The  country  known  to-day  as  Yucatan,  one  of  the  states 
of  the  Mexican  confederacy,  may  indeed  be  justly  regai-ded 
by  the  ethnologist,  the  geologist,  the  naturalist,  the  philologist, 
the  archaeologist,  and  the  historian  as  a  most  interesting  field 
of  study.  Its  area  of  seventy-three  thousand  square  miles, 
covered  with  dense  forests,  is  liter allj'  strewn  with  the  ruins  of 
numerous  antique  cities,  majestic  temples,  stately  palaces, 
the  work  of  learned  architects,  now  heaps  of  debris  crumbling 
under  the  inexorable  tooth  of  time  and  the  impious  hand  of 
iconoclastic  collectors  of  relics  for  museums.  Among  these  the 
statues  of  priests  and  kings,  mutilated  and  defaced  by  the 
action  of  the  elements,  the  hand  of  time  and  that  of  man,  lie 
prostrate  in  the  dust.  Walls  covered  with  bas-reliefs,  inscrip- 
tions and  sculptures  carved  in  marble,  containing  the  pane- 
gyrics of  rulers,  the  history  of  the  nation,  its  cosmogonical 
traditions,  the  ancient  religious  rites  and  observances  of  its 


people,  inviting  decipherment,  attract  the  attention  of  the 
traveller.  The  geological  formation  of  its  stony  soil,  so  full  of 
curious  deposits  of  fossil  shells  of  the  Jurassic  period  (Plate  I.); 
its  unexplored  caves,  supposed  dwellings  of  sprites  and  elves, 
creatures  of  the  fanciful  and  superstitious  imagination  of  the 
natives;  its  subterraneous  streams  of  cool  and  limpid  water, 
inhabited  by  bagres  and  other  fish — are  yet  to  be  studied  by 
modern  geologists ;  whilst  its  flora  and  fauna,  so  rich  and  so 
diversified,  but  imperfectly  known,  await  classification  at  the 
hand  of  naturalists. 

The  peculiar  though  melodious  vernacular  of  the  natives, 
preserved  through  the  lapse  of  ages,  despite  the  invasions 
of  barbaric  tribes,  the  persecutions  by  Christian  conquerors, 
ignorant,  avaricious,  and  bloodthirsty,  or  fanatical  monks 
who  believed  they  pleased  the  Almighty  by  destroying  a  civ- 
ilization equal  if  not  superior  to  theirs,  is  fuU  of  interest 
for  the  philologist  and  the  ethnologist.  Situated  between  18° 
and  21°  35'  of  latitude  north,  and  86°  50'  and  90°  35'  of  longi- 
tude west  from  the  Greenwich  meridian,  Yucatan  forms  the 
peninsula  that  divides  the  Mexican  Gulf  from  the  Caribbean 

Bishop  Landa  ^  informs  us  that  when,  at  the  beginning  of 
the  year  1517,  Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova,  the  first  of 
the  Spaniards  who  set  foot  in  the  country  of  the  Mayas,  landed 
on  a  small  island  which  he  called  Mugeres,  the  inhabitants,  on 
being  asked  the  name  of  the  country,  answered  U-luumil 
cell  (the  land  of  the  deer)  and  U-luumil  cutz  (the  land  of 
the  turkey).'  Until  then  the  Europeans  were  ignorant  of  the 
existence  of  such  a  place;  for  although  Juan  Diaz  Solis  and 

'  See  Appendix,  note  i. 

'  Diego  de  Liinda,  Relacion  delas  Cosas  de  Tuctitan,    chap,  ii.,  p.  6. 


Vicente  Yanes  Piuzon  came  in  sight  of  its  eastern  coasts  in 
1506,  thejr  did  not  land  nor  make  known  their  discovery.^ 

Herrera,  in  his  Decadas,  tells  us  that  when  Columbus,  in 
his  fourth  voyage  to  America,  was  at  anchor  near  the  island 
of  Pinos,  in  the  year  1502,  his  ships  were  boarded  by  Maya 
navigators.  These  came  from  the  west;  from  the  country 
known  to  its  inhabitants  under  the  general  name  of  the  Great 
Can  (serpent)  and  the  Cat-ayo  (cucumber  tree).^  The  penin- 
sula, then  divided  into  many  districts  or  provinces,  each  gov- 
erned by  an  independent  ruler  who  had  given  a  peculiar  title 
to  his  own  dominions,  seems  to  have  had  no  general  name. 
One  district  was  called  Cliacan,  another  Cepecli,  another 
Clioaca,  another  Mayapaii,  and  so  on.^  Mayapan,  how- 
ever, was  a  very  large  district,  whose  king  was  regarded  as 
suzerain  by  the  other  chieftains,  previous  to  the  destruction  of 
his  capital  by  the  people,  headed  by  the  nobility,  they  having 
become  tired  of  his  exactions  and  pride.  This  rebellion  is  said 
to  have  taken  place  seventy-one  years  before  the  advent  of  the 
Spanish  adventurers  in  the  country.  The  powerful  dynasty 
of  the  Coconies,  which  had  held  tyrannical  sway  over  the 
land  for  more  than  two  centuries,  then  came  to  an  end.^ 

Among  the  chroniclers  and  historians,  several  have  ven- 
tured to  give  an  etjonology  of  the  word  Maya.  None,  how- 
ever, seem  to  have  known  its  true  origin.  The  reason  is  very 

At  the  time  of  the  invasion  of  the  country  by  the  turbu- 

'  Antonio  de  Herrera,  Hist,  general  de  los  heclios  de  los  Castellanos  en  las 
islas  y  la  tierrafirme  del  Omano.     (JIadrid,  1601.)    Decada  1,  lib.  6,  cap.  17. 

=  Ibid.     Decada  1,  lib.  5,  cap.  13. 

^  Landa,  Relacion,  etc.,  cliap.  v.,  p.  30. 

•■  Cogolludo,  Historiade  Yucathaii,  lib.  iv.,  cap.  iii.,  p.  179.  See  Appen- 
di.Y,  note  ii. 


lent  and  barbaric  Wahuatls,  the  books  containing  the  record  of 
the  ancient  traditions,  of  the  history  of  past  ages,  from  the 
settlement  of  the  peninsula  by  its  primitive  inhabitants,  had 
been  carefully  hidden  (and  have  so  remained  to  this  day)  by 
the  learned  philosophers,  and  the  wise  priests  who  had  charge 
of  the  libraries  in  the  temples  and  colleges,  in  order  to  save  the 
precious  volumes  from  the  hands  of  the  barbarous  tribes  from 
the  west.  These,  entering  the  country  from  the  south,  came 
spreading  ruin  and  desolation.  They  destroyed  the  principal 
cities ;  the  images  of  the  heroes,  of  the  great  men,  of  the  cele- 
brated women,  that  adorned  the  public  squares  and  edifices. 
This  invasion  took  place  in  the  year  522,  or  thereabout,  of  the 
Christian  era,  according  to  the  opinion  of  modern  computers. ' 
As  a  natural  consequence  of  the  destruction,  by  the  invad- 
ers, of  Chichen-Itza,  then  the  seat  of  learning,  the  Itzaes, 
preferring  ostracism  to  submitting  to  their  vandal-like  con- 
querors, abandoned  their  homes  and  colleges,  and  became  wan- 
derers in  the  desert.^  Then  the  arts  and  sciences  soon  declined; 
with  their  degeneracy  came  that  of  civilization.  Civil  war — 
that  inevitable  consequence  of  invasions — political  strife,  and 
religious  dissension  broke  out  before  long,  and  caused  the  dis- 
memberment of  the  kingdom,  that  culminated  in  the  sack  and 
burning  of  the  city  of  Mayapan  and  the  extinction  of  the 
royal  family  of  the  Cocomesin  li20  a.d.,  two  hundred  and 
seventy  years  after  its  foundation.^  In  the  midst  of  the  social 
cataclysms  that  gave  the  cou^)  de  grdce  to  the  Maya  civiliza- 

1  Philip  J.  J.  Valentiiii,  Katunes  of  the  Maya  History,  p.  54. 

=  Juan  Pio  Perez  (Codex  Maya),  TJ  Tzolau  Katunil  tl  Mayab  (g  7): 
"Laixtun  u  Katunil  binciob  AU-Ytzaob  yalan  che,  yalan 
abaii,  yalan  ak  ti  nuniyaob  lac."  ("Toward  that  time,  tlien,  the 
Itzaes  went  in  the  forests,  lived  under  the  trees,  under  the  prune  trees, 
under  the  vines,  and  were  very  miserable.") 

"  Cogolludo,  lUstoria  de  Yncatlmn,  lib.  iv. ,  cap.  3,  p.  179. 


tion,  the  old  traditions  and  lore  were  forgotten  or  became  dis- 
figured. Ingrafted  with  the  traditions,  superstitions,  and 
fables  of  the  Nahuatls,  they  assumed  the  shape  of  myths. 
The  great  men  and  women  of  the  primitive  ages  were  trans- 
formed into  the  gods  of  the  elements  and  of  the  phenomena  of 

The  ancient  libraries  having  disappeared,  new  books  had  to 
be  written.  They  contained  those  myths.  The  Troano  and 
the  Dresden  MSS.  seem  to  belong  to  that  epoch.*  They  con- 
tain, besides  some  of  the  old  cosmogonical  traditions,  the  tenets 
and  precepts  of  the  new  religion  that  sprang  from  the  blend- 
ing of  the  ceremonies  of  the  antique  form  of  worship  of  the 
Mayas  with  the  superstitious  notions,  the  sanguinary  rites, 
and  the  obscene  practices  of  the  phallic  cult  of  the  ISTahuatls ; 
the  laws  of  the  land;  and  the  vestiges  of  the  science  and  knowl- 
edge of  the  philosophers  of  past  ages  that  still  lingered  among 
some  of  the  noble  families,  transmitted  as  heirlooms,  by  word 
of  mouth,  from  father  to  son.^  These  books  were  written  in 
new  alphabetical  letters  and  some  of  the  ancient  demotic  or 
popular  characters  that,  being  known  to  many  of  the  nobil- 
ity, remained  in  usage. 

With  the  old  orders  of  priesthood,  and  the  students,  the 
knowledge  of  the  hieratic  or  sacred  mode  of  writing  had 
disappeared.  The  legends  graven  on  the  facades  of  the  tem- 
ples and  palaces,  being  written  in  those  characters,  were  no 

'  See  Appendix,  note  iii. 

''  Diego  de  Landa,  Rdacion  de  las  Cosas  de  Yucatan  (chap,  vii.,  p.  42): 
"Que  ensenavan  los  hijos  de  los  otros  sacerdotes,  ya  los  hijos  segundos 
de  los  senores  que  los  llevaban  para  esto  desde  ninos." 

Lizana  (chap.  8),  Ilistoria  de  Nuestra  SeUora  de  Ytzamal :  "  La  historia  y 
autores  que  podemos  alegar  son  unos  caracteres  mal  cutendldos  do  muclios 
y  glossados  de  unos  indios  autiguos  que  sou  hijos  de  los  sacerdotes  de  sus 
dieses,  que  son  los  que  solo  sabian  leer  y  adevinar." 


longer  understood,  except  perhaps  by  a  few  archaeologists,  who 
were  sworn  to  secrecy.  The  names  of  the  builders,  their  his- 
tory, that  of  the  phenomena  of  nature  they  had  witnessed, 
the  tenets  of  the  religion  they  had  professed — aU  contained, 
as  we  have  said,  in  the  inscriptions  that  covered  these  antique 
walls — were  as  much  a  mystery  to  the  people,  as  to  the  mul- 
titudes which  have  since  contemplated  them  with  amazement, 
during  centuries,  to  the  present  day. 

Bishop  Landa,  speaking  of  the  edifices  at  Izamal,  asserts ' 
that  the  ancient  buildings  of  the  Mayas,  at  the  time  of  the 
arrival  of  the  Spaniards  in  Yucatan,  were  already  heaps  of 
ruins — objects  of  awe  and  veneration  to  the  aborigines  who 
lived  in  their  neighborhood.  They  had  lost,  he  sa3's,  the 
memory  of  those  who  built  them,  and  of  the  object  for  which 
thej'^  had  been  erected.  Yet  before  their  eyes  were  their 
fagades,  covered  with  sculptures,  inscriptions,  figures  of  human 
beings  and  of  animals,  in  the  round  and  in  bas-relief,  in  a 
better  state  of  preservation  than  they  are  now,  not  having 
then  suffered  so  much  injury  at  the  hand  of  man,  for  the 
natives  regarded  them,  as  their  descendants  do  still,  with  rev- 
erential fear.  There  were  recorded  the  legends  of  the  ]3ast — 
a  dead  letter  for  them  as  for  the  learned  men  of  the  present 
age.  There,  also,  on  the  interior  walls  of  many  apartments, 
were  painted  in  bright  colors  pictures  that  would  grace  the 
parlors  of  our  mansions,  representing  the  events  in  the  history 
of  certain  personages  Avho  had  flourished  at  the  dawn  of  the 
life  of  their  nation;  scenes  that  had  been  enacted  in  former 
ages  were  portrayed  in  very  beautiful  bas-reliefs.  But  these 
speaking  tableaux  Avere,   for  the  majority  of    the  people,   as 

•  Landa,  Relacion  dc  his  Cosas  (p.  338):  "  Que  cstos  edificios  lU'  Izaiiud 
eran  .\i  it  xii  por  todos,  sin  aver  menioria  de  los  fuudadores." 


much  enigmas  as  they  are  to-day.  Still  travellers  and  sci- 
entists are  not  wanting  who  pretend  that  these  strange  build- 
ings were  constructed  by  the  same  race  noAV  inhabiting  the 
peninsula  or  by  their  near  ancestors ' — regardless  of  CogoUudo's 
assertion^  "that  it  is  not  known  who  their  builders  were,  and 
that  the  Indians  themselves  preserved  no  traditions  on  the  sub- 
ject;" unmindful,  likewise,  of  these  words  of  Lizana:  "That 
when  the  Spaniards  came  to  this  country,  notwithstanding 
that  some  of  the  monuments  appeared  new,  as  if  they  had 
been  built  only  twenty  years,  the  Indians  did  not  live  in  them, 
but  used  them  as  temples  and  sanctuaries,  offering  in  them 
sacrifices,  sometimes  of  men,  women,  and  children;  and  that 
their  construction  dated  back  to  a  very  high  antiquity."  ^ 

The  historiographer  ^ar  excellence  of  Yucatan,  Cogolludo, 
informs  us  that  in  his  day — the  middle  of  the  seventeenth 
century — scarcely  a  little  more  than  one  hundred  years  after 
the  Conquest,  the  memory  of  these  adulterated  traditions  was 
already  fading  from  the  mind  of  the  aborigines.  "  Of  the 
people  who  first  settled  in  this  kingdom  of  Yucathan,"  he  says, 
"nor  of  their  ancient  history,  have  I  been  able  to  find  any 
more  data  than  those  I  mention  here. "  ■* 

The  books  and  other  writings  of  the  chroniclers  and  his- 
torians, from  the  Spanish  conquest  to  our  times,  should  there- 
fore be  considered  well-nigh  valueless,  so  far  as  the  history  of 
the  primitive  inhabitants  of  the  country,  the  events  that  tran- 
spired in  remote  ages,  and  ancient  traditions  in  general  are 

'  John  L.  Stephens,  Incidents  of  Travels  in  Yucatan,  vol.  ii.,  p.  458.  DS- 
sir6  Charnay,  North  American  Review,  April,  1883. 

'  Diego  Lopez  de  Cogolludo,  Ilistoria  de  Yucathan,  lib.  iv.,  chap,  iii., 
p.  177. 

°  Lizana,  Ilistoria  de  Ntiestra  Seflora  de  Ytznmal,  chap.  ii. 

'  Cogolludo,  Ilistoria  de  Yucathan,  lib.  iv.,  chap,  iii.,  p.  177. 


concerned,  seeing  that  CogoUudo  says  they  were  unable  to  pro- 
cure any  information  on  the  subject.  "  It  seems  to  me  that  it 
is  time,"  he  says,  "to  speak  of  the  various  things  pertaining 
to  this  country,  and  of  its  natives;  not,  however,  with  the  ex- 
tension some  might  desire,  mentioning  in  detaU.  their  origin 
and  the  countries  whence  they  may  have  come,  for  it  would  be 
difficult  for  me  to  ascertain  now  that  which  so  many  learned 
men  were  unable  to  find  out  at  the  beginning  of  the  Conquest, 
even  inquiring  with  great  diligence,  as  they  affirm,  particu- 
larly since  there  exist  no  longer  any  papers  or  traditions  among 
the  Indians  concerning  the  first  settlers  from  whom  they  are 
descended;  our  evangelical  ministers,  who  imported  the  faith, 
in  order  to  radically  extirpate  idolatry,  ha^dng  burned  aU  char- 
acters and  paintings  they  could  get  hold  of  in  which  were 
written  their  histories,  and  that  in  order  to  take  from  them 
all  remembrances  of  their  ancient  rites."  ' 

Those  who  undertook  to  write  the  narrative  of  the  Con- 
quest and  the  history  of  the  country,  in  order  to  procure  the 
necessary  data  for  this,  had  naturally  to  interrogate  the  na- 
tives. These  were  either  unable  or  unwilling  to  impart  the 
knowledge  sought.  It  may  be  that  some  of  those  from  whom 
inquiries  were  made  were  descendants  of  the  Kahuatls,  igno- 
rant of  the  ancient  history  of  the  Mayas.  Others  may  have 
been  some  of  the  Mexican  mercenaries  who  dwelt  on  the  coasts, 
where  they  were  barely  tolerated  by  the  other  inhabitants, 
because  of  their  sanguinary  practices.  They,  from  the  first, 
had  welcomed  the  Spaniards  as  friends  and  allies — had  main- 
tained with  them  intimate  relations  during  several  years,'^  be- 

'  CogoUudo,  iristoria  de  Yticathan,  lib.  iv.,  chap,  iii.,  p.  170. 

'  Nakiik  Pecli.  Au  ancient  document  concerning  the  Nakuk  Pech 
family,  Lords  of  Cliicxulub,  Yucatan.  This  is  an  original  document  be- 
longing to  Srs.  Rogil  y  Peon,  of  !Merida,  Yucatan. 


fore  the  invaders  ventured  into  the  interior  of  the  country. 
Fearing  that  if  they  pleaded  ignorance  of  the  history  it  might 
be  ascribed  to  unwillingness  on  their  part  to  answer  the  ques- 
tions ;  dreading  also  to  alienate  the  goodwill  of  the  men  with 
long  gowns,  who  defended  them  against  the  others  that  handled 
the  thunderbolts — those  strangers  covered  with  iron,  now  mas- 
ters of  the  country  and  of  their  persons,  who  on  the  slightest 
provocation  subjected  them  to  such  terrible  punishments  and 
atrocious  torments — they  recited  the  nursery  tales  with  which 
their  mothers  had  lulled  them  to  sleep  in  the  days  of  their 
childhood.  These  stories  were  set  down  as  undoubted  tradi- 
tions of  olden  times. 

Later  on,  when  the  Conquest  was  achieved,  some  of  the 
natives  who  really  possessed  a  knowledge  of  the  myths,  tra- 
ditions, and  facts  of  history  contained  in  the  books  that  those 
same  men  with  long  gowns  had  wilfully  destroyed  by  feed- 
ing the  flames  with  them,  notwithstanding  the  earnest  prot- 
estations of  the  owners,  invented  plausible  tales  when  ques- 
tioned, and  narrated  these  as  facts,  unwilling,  as  they  were,  to 
tell  the  truth  to  foreigners  who  had  come  to  their  country  un- 
invited, arms  in  hand,  carrying  war  and  desolation  wherever 
they  went ; '  slaughtering  the  men ;  ^  outraging  the  wives  and 
the  virgins ; '  destroying  their  homes,  their  farms,  their  cities ;  * 
spreading  ruin  and  devastation   throughout  the  land;^   dese- 

'  Cogolludo,  Sistoria  de  Yucathan,  lib.  ii.,  chap,  vi.,  p.  77. 

^  Landa,  Las  Corns  de  Tucata?i,  chap.  xv. ,  p.  84,  et passim.  Bernal  Diez 
de  Castillo,  Historia  de  la  Conquista  de  Mexico,  chap.  83. 

^  Landa,  Las  Cosas  de  Yuuitan,  chap,  xv.,  p.  84.  Bartholome  de  laa  Ca- 
sas,  Tratado  de  la  Destruccion  de  las  Indias,  Meyno  de  Yucathan,  lib.  viii., 
cap.  27,  p.  4. 

'  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yuaitlian,  lib.  iii.,  chap,  xi.,  p.  151.  Landa,  Las 
Cosas,  ch.  iv. 

'  Hid. 


crating  the  temples  of  their  gods;  trampling  underfoot  the 
sacred  images,  the  venerated  symbols  of  the  religion  of  their 
forefathers;  ^  imposing  upon  them  strange  idols,  that  they  said 
were  likenesses  of  the  only  true  God  and  of  his  mother  ^ — an 
assertion  that  seemed  most  absurd  to  those  worshippers  of  the 
sun,  moon,  and  other  celestial  bodies,  who  regarded  Ku,  the 
Divine  Essence,  the  uncreated  Soul  of  the  World,  as  the  only 
Supreme  God,  not  to  be  represented  under  any  shape.  Yet, 
by  lashes,  torture,  death  even,  the  victims  were  compelled  to 
pay  homage  to  these  images,  with  rites  and  ceremonies  the 
purport  of  which  they  were,  as  their  descendants  stiU  are, 
unable  to  understand,  being  at  the  same  time  forbidden  to 
observe  the  religious  practices  which  they  had  been  accustomed 
to  from  times  immemorial.'  More,  their  temples  of  learning 
were  destroyed,  with  their  hbraries  and  the  precious  volumes 
that  contained  the  history  of  their  nation,  that  of  their  illus- 
trious men  and  women  whose  memory  they  venerated,  the 

'  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yucatlian,  lib.  hi.,  cliap.  x.,  p.  147.  Landa,  Las 
Oosas,  chap.  iv. 

^  Ibid.,  lib.  iv.,  chap,  xviii.,  p.  329.     Landa,  Las  Cosas,  chap.  iv. 

^  Landa,  Las  Oosas  de  Yucatan,  cliap.  xli.,  p.  316. 

Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yucathan,  lib.  iv.,  chap,  vi.,  p.  189.  "Los  religiosos 
de  esta  provincia,  por  cuya  ateucion  corrid  la  couversiou  de  estos  iudios,  a 
nuestra  santa  f6  catolica,  con  el  zelo  que  tieuen  de  que  aprouechassen  en 
ella,  no  solo  demolieron  y  quemaron  todos  los  simulacros  que  adorabau, 
pero  aun  todos  los  escritos  (que  a  su  modo  tenian)  cou  que  pudieran  re- 
cordar  sus  meinorias  y  todo  lo  que  presuniiero  tendria  motiuo  de  alguna 
supersticion  6  ritos  gentilicos." 

Then  when  speaking  of  the  auto-de-fe  ordered  by  Bishop  Landa,  which 
took  place  in  tlie  city  of  Mani  towards  the  end  of  1561,  he  says  :  "  Con  el 
rezelo  de  esta  idolatria,  hizo  juntar  todos  los  libros  y  caracteres  antiguos 
que  los  indios  tenian,  y  por  quitarles  toda  ocasion  y  memoria  de  sus  anti- 
guos ritos,  quautos  se  pudieron  hallar,  se  quemaron  publicamente  el  dia  del 
auto  y  a  las  bueltas  con  cllos  sus  historias  de  antiguedades  "  (lib.  vi.,  chap, 
i.,   p.  309). 


sciences  of  their  wise  men  and  philosophers.*  How,  then,  could 
it  be  expected  that  they  should  tell  what  they  knew  of  the  his- 
tory of  their  people,  and  treat  as  friends  men  whom  they 
hated,  and  with  reason,  from  their  heart  of  hearts? — men 
who  held  their  gods  in  contempt ;  men  who  had,  without  prov- 
ocation, destroyed  the  autonomy  of  their  nation,  broken  up 
their  families,  reduced  their  kin  to  slavery,  brought  misery 
upon  them,  gloom  and  mourning  throughout  the  land.^ 

Now  that  three  hundred  and  fifty -five  years  have  elapsed 
since  their  country  became  part  of  the  domain  of  the  Spanish 
Crown,  one  might  think,  and  not  a  few  do  try  to  persuade 
themselves  and  others,  that  old  feuds,  rancor,  and  distrust 
must  be  forgotten;  in  fact,  must  be  replaced  by  friendship, 
confidence,  gratitude,  even,  for  all  the  ilessin^s  received  at  the 
hands  of  the  Spaniards — not  the  least  among  these,  the  de- 
struction of  their  idolatrous  rites,  the  hnowledge  of  the  true 
God,  and  the  mode  of  worshipping  He  likes  best — notwith- 
standing the  unfair  means  used  by  their  good  friends,  those  of 
the  long  gowns,  to  force  such  hlessings  and  knowledge  upon 
them,  and  cause  them  to  forget  and  forego  the  customs  and 
manners  of  their  forefathers.^  To-day,  when  the  aborigines 
are  said  to  le  free  citizens  of  the  Eepublic  of  Mexico,  entitled 
to  all  the  rights  and  privileges  that  the  constitution  is  sup- 
posed to  confer  on  all  men  born  within  the  boundaries  of  the 
country,  they  yet  seek — and  with  good  cause — the  seclusion  of 
the  recesses  of  the  densest  forests,  far  away  from  the  haunts 
of  their  white  fellow-citizens,  to  perform,  in  secrecj',  certain 
ancient  rites  and  religious   practices   that   even  now  linger 

'  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yucathan,  lib.  ii.,  chap,  xiv.,  p.  108,  et  passim 
'  Landa,  Las  Gosas  de  Yucatan,  chap,  xv.,  p.  84,  et  passim. 
"  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yucathan,  lib.  v.,  cap.  xvii.,  xviii.,  p.  296,  et  jias- 
sim.     Las  leyes  mas  en  orden  al  Jiien  espii'itual  de  los  Iiidios. 


among  them,  to  -which  they  adhere  with  great  tenacity,  and 
that  the  persecution  and  ill-treatment  they  have  endured  have 
been  powerless  to  extirpate.*  Yes,  indeed,  up  to  the  present 
time,  they  keep  whatever  knowledge  of  their  traditions  they 
may  still  possess  carefully  concealed  in  their  bosoms;  their  Ups 
are  hermetically  sealed  on  that  subject. 

Their  confidence  in,  their  respect  and  friendship  for,  one  not 
of  their  blood  and  race  must  be  very  great,  for  them  to  aUow 
him  to  witness  their  ceremonies,  or  become  acquainted  with 
the  import  of  certain  practices,  or  be  told  the  meaning  of  pecul- 
iar signs  and  symbols,  transmitted  to  them  orally  by  their 
fathers.  This  reserve  may  be  the  reason  why  some  travellers, 
unable  to  obtain  any  information  from  the  aborigines,  have 
erroneously  asserted  that  they  have  lost  all  traditionary  lore; 
that  all  tradition  has  entirely  disappeared  from  among  them.' 

Maya  was  the  name  of  a  powerful  nation  that  in  remote 
ages  dwelt  in  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan  and  the  countries, 
to-day  called  Central  America,  comprised  between  the  Isthmus 
of  Tehuantepec  on  the  north  and  that  of  Darien  on  the  south. 
That  name  was  as  well  known  among  the  ancient  civilized 
nations  the  world  over  as  at  present  are  the  names  of  Spain, 
France,  England,  etc.  As  from  these  countries  colonists, 
abandoning  the  land  of  their  birth,  have  gone  and  still  go 
forth  in  search  of  new  homes  in  far  distant  regions ;  have  car- 
ried and  do  carry,  with  the  customs,  manners,  religion,  civiliza- 
tion, and  language  of  their  forefathers,  the  name  even  of  the 
mother  country  to  their  new  abodes — so  we  may  imagine  it 
happened  with  the  Mayas  at  some  remote  period  in  the  past. 

'  See  Appendix,  note  iv. ;  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Tucathan,  lib.  v.,  cap. 
xvi.,  xvii.,  xviii. 

*  John  L.  Stephens,  Incidents  of  Travels  in  Tvcatan,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  446,  449. 


For  it  is  a  fact  that,  wherever  we  find  their  name,  there  also 
we  meet  with  the  vestiges  of  their  language  and  customs,  and 
many  of  their  traditions;  but  nowhere,  except  in  Yucatan,  is 
the  origin  of  their  name  to  be  found. 

Among  the  various  authors  who  have  written  on  that  coun- 
try several  have  endeavored  to  give  the  etymology  of  the 
word  Maya :  none  has  succeeded;  for,  instead  of  consulting 
the  Maya  books  that  escaped  destruction  at  the  hands  of  the 
Zumarragas,  Landas,  and  Torquemadas,  they  have  appealed 
to  their  imagination,  as  if  in  their  fancy  they  could  find  the 
motives  that  prompted  the  primitive  inhabitant  to  apply  such 
or  such  name  to  this  or  that  locality. 

Kamon  de  Ordonez  y  Aguiar '  fancied  that  the  name  Maya 
was  given  to  the  peninsula  on  account  of  the  scarcity  of  water 
on  its  surface,  and  intimated  that  it  was  derived  from  the  two 
vocables  ma,  "no,"  and  ha,  "water" — "without  water." 
Brasseur,"  following  his  own  pet  idea,  combats  such  explana- 
tion as  incorrect  and  says:  "The  country  is  far  from  being 
devoid  of  water.  Its  soil  is  honeycombed,  and  innumerable 
caves  exist  just  under  the  surface.  In  these  caves  are  deposits 
of  cool,  limpid  water,  extensive  lakes  fed  by  subterranean 
streams."  Hence  he  argues  that  the  true  etymology  of  the 
word  Maya  may  possibly  be  the  "  mother  of  the  waters  "  or 
the  "teats  of  the  waters  ma-y-a" — she  of  the  four  hundred 
breasts,  as  they  were  Avont  to  represent  the  Ephesian  goddess. 

Again,  this  explanation  did  not  suit  Seiior  Eligio  Ancona,^ 

'  Ramon  de  Ordonez  y  Aguiar,  the  author  of  Sistoria  de  la  Oreacion  del 
cielo  y  dela  Tierra,  was  a  native  of  the  ciudad  Real  de  Cliiapas.  He  died, 
very  much  advanced  in  years,  in  1840,  being  canon  of  the  cathedral  of  that 

'  Brasseur  (Charles  Etienne),  Maya  Vocabulary,  vol.  ii.,  p.  398,  Troano  MS. 

'  Ancona  (Eligio),  Hist.  deYucatan,  vol.  i.,  chap.  i.   See  Appendix,  note  v. 


for  he  ridicules  the  etymologists.  "  What  nonsense,"  he  says, 
"to  thus  rack  their  brains  !  They  must  be  out  of  their  mind 
to  give  themselves  the  work  of  bringing  forth  these  erudite 
elucidations  to  explain  the  word  Maya,  that  everybody  knows 
is  a  mere  Spanish  corruption  of  Mayab,  the  ancient  name  of 
the  country."  In  asserting  that  the  true  name  {nombre  ver- 
dadero)  of  the  peninsula  in  ancient  times  was  Mayab,  Senor 
Ancona  does  not  sustain  his  assertion  by  any  known  historical 
document;  he  merely  refers  to  the  Maya  dictionary  of  Pio 
Perez,  that  he  himself  has  published.  He  is  likewise  silent  as 
to  the  source  from  which  Senor  Pio  Perez  obtained  his  infor- 
mation concerning  the  ancient  name  of  the  peninsula. 

Landa,  GogoUudo,  Lizana,'  all  accord  in  stating  that  the 
land  was  called  TJ-luumil  ceh,  "the  land  of  the  deer." 
Herrera  ^  says  it  was  called  Beb  (a  very  thorny  tree),  and  the 
"great  serpent  "  Can ;  but  we  see  in  the  Troano  MS.  that  this 
was  the  name  of  the  whole  of  the  Maya  Empire,  not  the 
peninsula  alone.  Senor  Ancona,  notwithstanding  his  sneers,  is 
not  quite  sure  of  being  right  in  his  criticism,  for  he  also  tries 
his  hand  at  etymologizing.  Taking  for  granted  that  the  state- 
ment of  Lizana  is  true,  that  at  some  time  or  other  two  differ- 
ent tribes  had  invaded  the  country  and  that  one  of  these  tribes 
was  more  numerous  than  the  other,  he  pretends  that  the  word 
Mayab  was  meant  to  designate  the  weaker,  being  composed, 
as  he  says,  of  Ma,  "not,"  and  yab,  "abundant." 

I  myself,  on  the  strength  of  the  name  given  to  the  birthplace 
of  their  ancestors  by  the  Egjrptians,  and  on  that  of  the  tradition 
handed  down  among  the  aborigines  of  Yucatan,  admitting 
that  one  of  the  names  given  to  the  peninsula,  Mayab,  was  cor- 

'  See  Appendix,  note  v. 

'  Autonio  de  Herrera,  Decada  1,  lib.  7,  chap.  17. 


rect ;  considering,  moreover,  the  geological  formation  of  its  soil, 
its  porousness ;  remembering,  besides,  that  the  meaning  of  the 
wordMayab  is  a  "sieve,"  a  "  tammy,"  I  wrote:  *  " It  is  very 
difficult,  without  the  help  of  the  books  of  the  learned  priests  of 
Mayab,  to  know  positively  why  they  gave  that  name  to  their 
country.  I  can  only  surmise  that  they  called  it  so  from  the  great 
absorbent  quality  of  its  stony  soil,  which  in  an  incredibly  short 
time  absorbs  the  water  at  the  surface.  This  water,  percolating 
through  the  pores  of  the  stone,  is  afterward  found  filtered,  clear 
and  cool,  in  the  senates asnA  caves,  where  it  forms  vast  deposits." 
When  I  published  the  foregoing  Lines,  in  1881,  I  had  not 
studied  the  contents  of  the  Troano  MS.  I  was  therefore 
entirely  ignorant  of  its  historical  value.  The  discovery  of  a 
fragment  of  mural  painting,  in  the  month  of  February,  1882,^ 
on  the  walls  of  an  apartment  in  one  of  the  edifices  at  Kabah, 
caused  me  to  devote  many  months  to  the  study  of  the  Maya 
text  of  that  interesting  old  document.  It  was  with  consider- 
able surprise  that  I  then  discovered  that  several  pages  at  the 
beginning  of  the  second  part  are  dedicated  to  the  recital  of  the 
awful  phenomena  that  took  place  during  the  cataclysm  that 
caused  the  submersion  of  ten  countries,  among  which  the  "  Land 
of  Mu,"  that  large  island  probably  called  "Atlantis"  by 
Plato ;  and  the  formation  of  the  strangely  crooked  line  /"  N^ 
of  islands  known  to  us  as  "  "West  Indies,"  but  as  the  "  Land  of 
the  Scorpion  "  to  the  Mayas.'  I  was  no  less  astonished  than 
gratified  to  find  an  account  of  the  events  in  the  life  of  the  per- 
sonages whose  portraits,  busts,  and  statues  I  had  discovered 
among  the  ruins  of  the  edifices  raised  by  them  at  Chichen 

'  Aug.  Le  Plongeon,   Vestiges  of  the  Mayas,  p.  36. 

^  North   American  i?OTi«w,  April,   1882.      "  Explorations  of  the  Ancient 
Cities  of  Central  America, "  D6sir6  Charnay. 
'  Troano  MS.,  part  ii.,  plates  vi.,  vii. 


and  Uxmal,  whose  history,  portrayed  in  the  mural  paintings, 
is  also  recounted  in  the  legends  and  the  sculptures  still  adorn- 
ing the  walls  of  their  palaces  and  temples  ;  and  to  learn  that 
these  ancient  personages  had  already  been  converted,  at  the 
time  the  author  of  the  Troano  MS.  wrote  his  book,  into  the 
gods  of  the  elements,  and  made  the  agents  who  produced 
the  terrible  earthquakes  that  shook  parts  of  the  "  Lands  of  the 
West ' '  to  their  very  foundations,  as  told  in  the  narrative  of 
the  Akalb-oib,  and  finally  caused  them  to  be  engulfed  by  the 
waves  of  the  Atlantic  Ocean.  ^ 

The  author  of  the  Troano  MS.  gives  in  his  work  the  adjoin- 
ing map  (Plate  II.)  of  the  "  Land  of  the  Beb  "  (mulberry  tree), 
the  Maya  Empire.^  In  it  he  indicates  the  localities  which 
were  submerged,  and  those  that  still  remained  above  water,  in 
that  part  of  the  world,  after  the  cataclysm. 

In  the  legend  explanatory  of  his  object  in  drawing  that 
chart,  as  in  many  other  places  in  his  book,^  he  gives  the  ser- 
pent head  RVP"'^  kan, ' '  south, ' '  as  symbol  of  the  southern  con- 

tinent.    He  represents  the  northern  by  this  monogram 

that  reads  aac,  "  turtle. "     By  this  sign  s!20S^=  placed  between 

the  two  others,  he  intends  to  convey  to  the  mind  of  his  readers 
that  the  submerged  places  to  which  he  refers  are  situated  be- 
tween the  two  western  continents,  are  bathed  by  the  waters 
of  the  Mexican  Gulf,  and  more  particularly  by  those  of  the 
Caribbean  Sea — figured  by  the  image  of  an  animal  resem- 
bling a  deer,  placed  over  the  legend.  It  is  well  to  remark  that 
this  animal  is  typical  of  the  submerged  Antillean  valleys,  as  it 
will  plainly  appear  further  on. 

'  Troano  MS.,  part  ii.,  plates  ii.,  iii.,  iv. 
'  Ibid.,  vol.  i.,  part  ii.,  pi.  x. 
'Ibid.,  pi.  xxiv.,  XXV.,  ft  jKoisim. 

Page  xlii. 

Plate  II. 


The  lines  lightly  etched  here  are  painted  blue  in  the  origi- 
nal. As  in  our  topographical  maps  the  edges  of  the  water- 
courses, of  the  sea  and  lakes,  are  painted  blue,  so  the  Maya 
hierogrammatist  figured  the  shores  of  the  Mexican  Gulf,  indi- 
cated by  the  serpent  head.  The  three  signs  n  of  locality, 
placed  in  the  centre  of  said  gulf,  mark  the  site  of  the  extin- 
guished volcano  known  to-day  as  the  Alacrcmes  reefs.  The 
serpent  head  was,  for  the  Maya  writers,  typical  of  the  sea, 
whose  billows  they  compared  to  the  undulations  of  a  serpent 
in  motion.  They  therefore  called  the  ocean  canali,  a  Avord 
whose  radical  is  can,  "  serpent,"  the  meaning  of  which  is  the 
' '  mighty  serpent. ' ' 

The  lines  of  the  drawing  more  strongly  etched,  the  end  of 
which  corresponds  to  the  sign  g".'OC,=  ,  are  painted  red,   the 

color  of  clay,  kaiicab,  and  indicate  the  localities  that  were 
submerged  and  turned  into  marshes.  This  complex  sign  is 
formed  of  the  N  O  =J  emblem  of  countries  near  or  in  the 
water,  and  of  the  cross,  made  of  dotted  lines,  symbol  of  the 
cracks  and  crevices  made  on  the  surface  of  the  earth  by  the 
escaping  gases,  represented  by  the  dots  .  .  .  . ,  and  of  small 
circles,  O ,  images  of  volcanoes.  A.s  to  the  character  R^^5)  it 
is  composed  of  two  letters  /\,  equivalent  to  Maya 
and  Greek  letter  A,  so  entwined  as  to  form  the  character  X  , 
equal  to  the  Greek  and  Maya  K,  but  forming  a  mon-  -^^ 
ogram  that  reads  aac,  the  Maya  word  for  "turtle." 

Before  proceeding  with  the  etymology  of  the  name  May- 
ach,  it  may  not  be  amiss  to  explain  the  legends  and  the  other 
drawings  of  the  tableau.  It  will  be  noticed  that  the  charac- 
ters over  that  part  of  the  drawing  which  looks  like  the  hori- 
zontal branch  of  a  tree  are  identical  with  those  placed  verti- 
cally against  the  trunk,  but  in  an  inverted  position.     It  is,  in 


fact,  the  same  legend  repeated,  and  so  written  for  the  better 
understanding  of  the  map,  and  of  the  exact  position  of  the 
various  localities;  that  of  the  Mexican  Gulf  figured  on  the 
left,  and  of  the  ideographic  or  pictorial  representation  of  the 
Caribbean  Sea  to  the  right  of  the  tableau.  In  order  to 
thoroughly  comprehend  the  idea  of  the  Maya  author,  it 
is  indispensable  to  have  a  perfect  knowledge  of  the  con- 
tours of  the  seas  and  lands  mentioned  by  him  in  this  instance, 
even  as  they  exist  to-day.  Of  course,  some  slight  changes 
since  the  epoch  referred  to'  by  him  have  naturally  taken 
place,  and  the  outlines  of  the  shores  are  somewhat  altered, 
particularly  in  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  as  can  be  ascertained 
by  consulting  maps  made  by  the  Spaniards  at  the  time  of  the 

The  adjoining  map  of  Central  America,  the  Antilles,  and 
Gulf  of  Mexico,  being  copied  from  that  published  by  the  Bu- 
reau of  Hydrography  at  "Washington,  may  be  regarded  as  accu- 
rate (Plate  III.).  On  it  I  have  traced,  in  dotted  lines,  figures 
that  will  enable  any  one  to  easily  understand  why  the  Maya 
author  symbolized  the  Caribbean  Sea  as  a  deer,  and  the  empire 
of  Mayach  as  a  tree,  rooted  in  the  southern  continent,  and 
having  a  single  branch,  horizontal  and  pointing  to  the  right, 
that  is,  in  an  easterly  direction. 

A  glance  at  the  map  of  the  "Drowned  Valleys  of  the 
Antillean  Lands"  (Plate  IV.),  published  by  Professor  J.  "VV. 
Spencer,  of  "Washington,  in  the  "Bulletin  of  the  Geological 
Society  of  America"  for  January,  1895,  which  is  reproduced 
here  with  the  author's  pennission,  must  convince  any  one 
that  the  ancient  Maya  geologists  and  geographers  were 
not  far  behind  their  brother  professors,  in  these  sciences, 
of    modern   times,   in    their   knowledge,    at    least,   of   those 

Page  xliv. 

Plate  III. 


Page  xliv. 

Plate  IV. 


parts  of  the  earth  they  inhabited,  and  of  the  adjoining  coun- 

The  sign  that  most  attracts  the  attention  is  >if^J  | ,  tli^t 
Eishop  Landa  saji-s  must  be  read  Yax-kin,  and 
that  of  the  seventh  month  of  the  Maya  calendar.  Literally 
these  words  mean  the  "  vigorous  sun. "  If,  however,  we  inter- 
pret the  symbol  phonetically,  it  gives  us  "the  country  of 
the  king,  which  is  surrounded  by  water;  "  "  the  kingdom  in  the 
midst  of  water. "  It  will  also  be  noticed  that  it  is  placed  at  the 
top  of  the  tree,  to  indicate  that  that  "tree"  is  the  kingdom. 
Next  to  it,  on  the  left,  is  the  name  Mayach,  which  indicates 
that  it  is  the  "kingdom  of  Mayach,"  which  will  be-  ^ 
come  plain  by  the  analysis  of  the  symbols.  To  begin  with,  /  | 
is  a  wing  or  feather,  insignia  worn  by  kings  and  warriors.  <^~-^ 
Placed  here  it  has  a  double  meaning.  It  denotes  the  north, 
as  we  Avill  see  later  on,  and  also  shows  that  the  land  is 
that  of  the  king  whose  emblem  it  is.  The  character 
stands  for  ahau,  the  word  for  Icing,  and  we  have  already 

'  Tlie  adjoining  map  (Plate  IV.)  was  constructed  by  Professor  J.  W.  Spen- 
cer according  to  his  own  original  researches  and  geological  studies  in  the 
island  of  Cuba  and  in  Central  America,  aided  by  the  deep-sea  soundings  made 
in  1878  by  Commander  Bartlett  of  the  United  States  steamship  Blake.  It 
can  be  therefore  accepted  as  perfectly  accurate.  During  a  short  stay  in 
Belize,  British  Honduras,  Commander  Bartlett  honored  me  with  a  visit. 
Speaking  of  his  work  of  triangulation  and  deep-sea  soundings  in  the  Carib- 
bean Sea,  he  mentioned  tlie  existence  of  very  profound  valleys  covered  by  its 
waters,  revealed  by  the  sound.  I  informed  him  tliat  I  had  become  cognizant 
of  tliat  fact,  having  found  it  mentioned  by  the  author  of  that  ancient  Maya 
book  known  to-day  as  Troano  MS.  If  my  memory  serves  me  right,  I  showed 
him  the  maps  drawn  by  the  writer  of  that  ancient  book,  and  made  on  a  map 
in  my  copy  of  Bowditch's  Navigation  an  approximate  tracing  of  the  sub- 
merged valleys  in  the  Caribbean  Sea,  in  explanation  of  the  Maya  maps, 
showing  why  they  symbolized  said  sea  by  the  figure  of  an  animal  resem- 
bling a  deer — which  may  have  been  the  reason  why  they  called  the  country 
U-Iuumil  cell,  the  "  land  of  the  deer." 


seen  that  this  fcOa  ,  luumil,  is  the  symbol  for  ' '  land  near,  in, 
or  surrounded  ^^  by  water,"  as  the  Empire  of  Mayach 
(the  peninsula  of  Yucatan  and  Central  America  are  certainly 
surrounded  by  water),  on  the  north  by  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  on 
the  east  by  the  Caribbean  Sea,  on  the  west  and  south  by  the 
Pacific  Ocean.  The  symbol  then  reads  Luumil  ahau,  the 
"King's  country,"  the  "kingdom." 

But  how  do  you  make  your  rendering  accord  with  the 
meaning  given  to  the  character  by  Bishop  Landa  ?  I  fancy  I 
hear  our  learned  Americanists  asking ;  and  I  answer.  In  a  very 
simple  manner,  knowing  as  I  do  the  genius  of  the  Maya  people 
and  their  language. 

The  ancient  armorial  escutcheon  of  the  country  still  exists  on 
the  western  facade  of  the  "  sanctuary  "  at  Uxnial,  and  in  the 
bas-reliefs  carved  on  the  memorial  monu- 
ment of  Prince  Coli  at  Chichen.  The 
emblem  represented  on  said  escutcheon 
scarcely  needs  explanation.  It  is  easily 
read  U-luumil  kin,  the  ' '  Land  of  the 

The  kings  of  Mayach,  like  those 
of  Egypt,  Chaldea,  India,  China,  Peru, 
etc.,  took  upon  themselves  the  title  of  "  Children  of  the  Sun," 
and,  in  a  boasting  spirit,  that  of  "  the  Strong,  the  Vigorous 
Sun."  Kin  is  the  Maya  word  for  sun.  But  kin  is  also  the 
title  of  the  highpriest  of  the  sun.  As  in  Egypt  and  many 
other  civilize4  countries,  so  in  Mayacli,  the  king  was,  at 
the  same  time,  chief  of  the  state  and  of  the  relifi-ion,  as  in 
our  times  the  Queen  in  England,  the  Czar  in  Kussia,  the  Sultan 
in  Turkey,  etc.  The  title  Yax-kiu  may  therefore  have  been 
applied,  among  the  Mayas,  to  the  king  and  to  the  kingdom; 


and  my  rendering  of  the  symbol  >G^[^  does  not  conflict  with 

that  of  Landa.  fco 

In  the  tableau  the  Maya  Empire  is  portrayed  by  the  beb — 
a  tree  with  the  trunk  full  of  thorns.  The  trunk  is  the  image  of 
the  chain  of  mountains  that  traverses  the  whole  country  from 
north  to  south.  There  dwelt  the  masters  of  the  earth,  the 
Volcanoes.  They  gave  it  life,  power,  and  strength.  This 
chain  is,  as  it  were,  its  backbone.  It  terminates  at  the  Isthmus 
of  Darien,  to  the  nri  south.  This  is  why  the  tree  is  planted 
in  the  character  \_)  kan,  that  Landa  tells  us  was  the  name 
for  south  anciently.*  At  the  north,  the  branch  of  the  tree 
extends  eastward,  that  is,  to  the  right  of  the  trunk.  This 
branch,  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan,  is  represented  by  this 
symbol  cX)^^,  which,  with  but/^---y»^  a  slight  difference  in 
the  drawing,  is  the  same  as  that  I  K^^pj  placed  in  the  verti- 
cal legend,  in  an  invertedf^^Sa'  position,  against  the 
trunk  of  the  tree,  by  Avhich  the  author  has  designated  the 
whole  country,  calling  it  ii  Ma  yach,  the  "  land  of  the  shoot," 
the  "land  of  the  veretnim,^^  from  the  name  of  the  peninsula 
that  seems  to  have  been  the  seat  of  the  government  of  the 
Maya  Empire. 

The  motive  for  the  slight  change  in  the  drawing  is  easily 
explained.  The  peninsula  jutting  out  into  the  sea  from  the 
mainland,  as  a  shoot,  a  branch  from  the  trunk  of  the  tree,  is  in- 
dicated by  the  representation  of  a  yach,  a  vere-  j<^=~^  tnim, 
the  base  of  which  rests  on  the  sign  of  land  (x^^Jr,  ma; 
or  also  of  a  shoot,  projecting  beyond  two  /^\iniix,  symbols 
of  two  basins  of  water — that  is,  of  the  ^^*J^  Mexican  Gulf 
and  the  Caribbean  Sea — that  are  on  each  side  of  it.  The 
whole  hieroglyph,  name  of  the  peninsula,  reads  therefore 
'  Landa,  Las  Corns  de  Yucatan,  chap,  xxxiv.,  p.  206. 


u-Mayacli,  the  place  of  the  ancestor's  veretrum,  or  of  the 
shoot  of  the  tree. 

These  two  imix  differ  somewhat  in  shape.  The  iniix 
h^>i(^/M  is  meant  to  designate  the  Caribbean  Sea,  the  eastern 
^^Uili^  part  of  which  being  opened  to  the  waves  of  the  ocean 
is  indicated  by  the  wavy  line  AAAA/V\,  emblem  of  water.  In 
this  instance  it  may  also  denote  the  mountains  in  the  islands, 
that  close  it,  ,^^-.  a-s  it  were,  toward  the  rising  sun.  The 
other  imix  L"  *  '\j  stands  for  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  a  medi- 
terranean sea,  completely  land-locked,  with  a  smaU  entrance 
formed  by  the  peninsula  of  Florida  and  that  of  Yucatan, 
and  commanded  by  the  island  of  Cuba.  It  is  well  to  notice 
that,  as  has  been  already  said,  some  of  the  signs  in  the  hori- 
zontal legend  are  the  same  as  those  in  the  vertical  legend, 
but  placed  in  an  inverse  position  with  regard  to  one  an- 
other. This  is  as  it  should  naturally  be.  Of  course,  the 
particular  names  of  the  various  localities  in  the  country  are 
somewhat  different,  and  the  signs  indicating  their  position 
■with  reference  ~^  to  the  cardinal  points  are  not  the  same. 
The  symbol  \^  imix,  for  instance,  of  the  Mexican  Gulf 
is  placed  in  the  vertical  legend  to  the  left,  that  is  to  the  west, 
of  the  imix  T  j  image  of  the  Caribbean  Sea,  as  it  should 
certainly  be  ^^  if  we  look  at  the  map  of  Central  America 
from  the  south,  when  it  is  apparent  that  the  Gulf  of  Mexico 
lies  to  the  westward  of  the  Caribbean  Sea  (mTiiI/.  On  the 
other  hand,  if  we  enter  the  country  from  the  north,  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico  will  be  to  the  right,  and  the  Caribbean  Sea  to 
the  left,  of  the  traveller,  just  as  the  Maya  hierogrammatist 
placed  them  in  the  horizontal  legend,  ^J^mJC^mO- 

To  return  to  the  character  \^  in  which  the  foot  of  the  tree 
is  planted.    Kan  not  only  means  "south,"  as  we  have  just 


seen,  but  it  has  many  other  acceptations — all  conveying  the 
idea  of  might  and  power.  It  is  a  variation  of  can,  ^^ 

"serpent."  The  serpent,  vrith  inflated  breast,  _^^?*^ 
suggested  by  the  contour  of  the  Maya  Empire,  was  adopted  as 
a  symbol  of  the  same.  Its  name  became  that  of  the  dynasty 
of  the  Maya  rulers,  and  their  totem.  "We  see  it  sculptured 
on  the  walls  of  the  temples  and  palaces  raised  by  them.  In 
Mayach,  in  Egypt,  in  China,  in  India,  in  Peru,  and  many 
other  places  the  image  of  the  serpent  was  the  badge  of  royalty. 
It  formed  part  of  the  headdress  of  the  kings;  it  was  embroid- 
ered on  their  royal  garments.*  Kliam,  is  still  the  title  of  the 
kings  of  Tartary,  Burmah,  etc. ,  that  of  the  governors  of  prov- 
inces in  Afghanistan,  Persia,  and  other  countries  in  central 

That  the  tree  ■^v^^r"-^"— "^w  was  also  meant  by  the  author  of 
the  Troano  MS.    J  I  as  symbol  of  the  Maya  Empire, 

there    can    be   f  3  no  doubt.     He  himself 

takes    pains    to  \D  inform  us  of  the  fact, 

Beb  ixaacal  (the  beb  has  sprung  up)  between  i  ^  ^ ,  uuc 
luuniilob,  the  seven  countries  •  •  ♦  #  of  Can. 

The  sign  i         i  is  painted  red  in  the  original,  to  indicate  the 
arable  land,  kancab.     i  i  was  the  symbol  of  land,  coun- 

try, among  the  Mayas,  as  with  the  Egyptians;  but  the  former 
used  it  also  as  numerical  for  five,  to  which,  in  this  case,  must 
be  added  the  two  units  O  O .    So  we  have  seven  fertile  lands. 

The  four  black  dots  •  •  •  •  are  the  numerical  four,  and 
another  ideographic  sign  for  the  name  of  the  country — Can, 
"  serpent."  This  /Sj^/^  is  why  it  is  placed  at  the  foot  of  the 
tree,  lilce  the  sign  ^^s' 1 1  at  the  top  to  signify  that  it  is  the 
kingdom.  They  \jj,7^  are  juxtaposed  to  the  character  ^fl 
"  Wilkinson,  Customs  and  Manners,  vol.  i.,  p.  163  (illust.). 


kan,  also,  to  denote  its  geographical  position.  It  will  be 
noticed  that  this  sign  was  omitted  in  the  horizontal  legend,  as 
it  should  be,  since  kan  is  the  word  for  "  south;  "  but  it  has 
been  replaced  by  ix  /6S\  ("  north,")  which  sign  has  been  in- 
corporated with  the  ^Qy  sign,  toeb,  ^q^  thus  ^°\  to  show 
that  this  is  the  northern  part  of  >0^  the  ^o'  tree  — 
that  is,  of  the  country. 

There  remains  to  be  f^XXr^  explained  what  may  be  con- 
sidered, in  the  present  y^irC  iiistance,  the  most  important 
character  of  the  tableau,  ^^^^  since  it  is  the  original  name 
given,  in  the  most  remote  ages,  to  that  part  of  the  Maya 
Empire  known  on  our  maps  as  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan.  It 
reads,  Mayacli,  the  "land  just  sprung,"  the  "primitive 
land,"  the  "hard  land."  The  symbol  itself  is  an  ideographic 
representation  of  the  peninsula  and  its  surroundings,  as  will 
be  shown. 

The  reason  that  caused  it  to  be  adopted  by  the  learned  men 
of  Mayacli  as  symbol  for  the  name  of  their  country  is  indeed 
most  interesting.  It  clearly  explains  its  etymology,  and  also 
gives  us  a  knowledge  of  the  scope  of  their  scientific  attain- 
ments— among  these  their  perfect  understanding  of  the  forces 
that  produced  the  submersion  of  many  lands,  and  the  upheaval 
of  the  peninsula  and  other  places;  a  thorough  acquaintance 
with  the  geography  of  the  continent  wherein  they  dwelt,  and 
of  the  lands  adjacent  in  the  ocean ;  that  even  of  the  ill-fated 
island  mentioned  by  Plato,'  its  destruction  by  earthquakes, 
and  the  sad  doom  of  its  inhabitants  that  remained,  an  histor- 
ical fact,  preserved  in  the  annals  treasured  in  the  Egj^ptian 
temples  as  well  as  in  those  of  the  Mayas.  May  we  not  assume 
that  the  identity  of  traditions  indicates  that  at  some  epoch, 
'  Plato,  Diahgiies,  "Tima?us,''  ii.,  517. 


more  or  less  remote,  intimate  relations  and  communications 
must  have  existed  between  the  inhabitants  of  the  valley  of 
the  Nile  and  the  peoples  dwelling  in  the  "  Lands  of  the  West  "  ? 

We  shaU.  begin  the  interpretation  j-l  ,  of  the  symbol 
with  the  analysis  of  the  character  ^r^  Sf^  that  Landa  tells 
us  ^  stood,  among  the  Maya  writers,  either  for  ma,  me,  or  mo. 
Some  would-be  critics  among  the  Americanists,  our  contempo- 
raries,^ have  accused  the  bishop  of  ignorance  regarding  the 
writing  system  of  the  Mayas,  or  of  incompetency  in  transmit- 
ting to  us  the  true  value  of  this  character,  simply  because  he 
gave  it  a  plurality,  or  what  seems  to  be  a  plurality,  of  meanings. 

What  right,  it  may  be  asked,  have  we  to  dispute  the  fact 
asserted  by  Bishop  Landa,  j-^  that  in  his  time,  among 
the  Mayas,  the  character  g«^  S?^  was  equivalent  to  ma 
and  perhaps  to  me  and  mo  ?  Had  he  not  better  opportunity 
than  any  of  us  for  knowing  it?  Did  not  the  chiefs  of  the 
Franciscan  Order  in  Yucatan  consider  it  a  prime  duty  to 
become  thoroughly  versed,  and  have  all  their  missionaries 
insti'ucted,  in  the  language  of  the  natives  to  whom  they  had 
to  preach  the  gospel,  and,  after  converting  them  to  Chris- 
tianity, to  administer  the  sacraments  of  their  Church  ?  Were 
they  not  scholars,  men  conversant  with  grammatical  studies  ? 
Who  but  they  have  reduced  to  grammatical  rules  the  Maya 

'  Landa,  Eelacion  de  las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,  ch.  xli.,  p.  323. 

"  Heinrich  Wvlttke,  Bei  enstehimg  der  Schrift,  S.  205,  quoted  and  whose 
opinions  are  indorsed  by  Professor  Cliarles  Ran,  cliief  of  tlie  archfeological 
division  of  the  National  Museum  (Smithsonian  Institution)  at  Washington. 
Smithsonian  Contributions  to  Knowledge,  chap,  v.,  No.  331.  "The  Paleuque 
Tablet  in  the  United  States  National  Museum."  Dr.  Ed.  Seler,  Tiber  die 
Bedeutung  des  ZahlzeicJmns  20  in  der  Mayaschrift,  in  Verhandlungen  der  Ber- 
liner Oesellachaft fiXr  Anthropohgie,  etc.,  1887,  S.  237-241.  J.  J.  Vallentini, 
"  The  Landa  Alphabet  a  Spanish  Fabrication,"  in  Proceedings  of  the 
American  Antiquarian  Society,  April,  1880. 


language  for  the  benefit  of  students?  Are  we  not  told  that 
Bishop  Landa  acquired  a  great  proficiency  in  it?  Was  he 
not  for  many  years  a  teacher  of  it  ?  Has  he  not  composed  a 
grammar  of  that  tongue  for  the  use  of  his  pupils?  What 
right,  then,  have  men  in  our  age,  innocent  of  all  knowledge  of 
Maya  language,  even  as  spoken  to-day,  however  great  may 
be  their  attainments  in  any  other  branch  of  learning,  to  pass 
judgment  on,  worse  still,  to  condemn,  a  learned  teacher  of 
that  language,  charging  him  with  ignorance  and  incompetency, 
simply  because  he  assigns  various  meanings  to  a  character  ? 

Perhaps  Mr.  Champollion  le  jewne  will  be  branded  in  like 
manner,  because  he  tells  us  that  the  Egyptians  represented 
indifferently  the  vowels  A,  I,  0,  E  by  the  character  1 1  ? ' 
""We  see  effectively,"  says  the  learned  discoverer  of  ^  the 
Egyptian  alphabet,  "  the  leaf  or  feather  as  their  homo- 
phones, to  mean,  according  to  the  occasion,  an  A,  an  7",  an  E, 
and  even  an  6>,  as  the  ^  (aleph)  of  the  Hebrews.  So  do  we 
find  in  the  Egyptian  tongue,  written  with  Coptic  letters,  a 
dialect  that  uses  indifferently  a  for  o,  where  the  other  two 
write  o  only,  and  e  where  the  other  two  write  a.  We  have 
in  the  same  dialect  a/3e  and  o/Je- — Sitire ;  axe — "reed," 
' '  rush, ' '  Jwieus.  ^ 

'  Champollion  le  jeune,  Precis  du  Systime  hieroglyphiqite  des  Anciens  Egyp- 
tiena,  p.  Ill,  Paris,  1838. 

'  Ak6  is  likewise  a  word  belonging  to  the  Maya  language.  As  in 
Egyptian,  it  means  a  "reed,"  a  "rush,"  a  "-withe."  It  was  the  name  of 
an  ancient  city  the  ruins  of  which  still  exist  near  Tixkokob,  in  Yucatan, 
on  the  property  of  Dn.  Alvaro  Peon.  It  was  also  a  family  name,  as  can 
be  seen  (in  Appendix,  note  ii.)  from  a  baptismal  certificate  signed  by 
Father  CogoUudo,  taken  from  an  old  baptismal  register  found  in  the 
convent  of  Cacalchen.  The  original  is  now  in  possession  of  the  Right  Rev. 
Dn.  Crecencio  Carillo  y  Ancona,  present  bishop  of  Yucatan,  who  has  kindly 
allowed  me  to  make  a  photographic  copy  of  Father  Diego  de  CogoUudo's 


Let  US  resume  our  explanation.  We  have  found  that 
in  re-  j--1  mote  times  ma  was  the  meaning  of  the  char- 
acter g!*-*  Ss^.  Let  us  try  to  analyze  its  component  parts  in 
its  relation  to  the  name  Mayach,  and  its  origin  as  an  alphabetic 
character.  It  is  easy  to  see  that  it  is  composed  of  the  /"^s 
geometrical  figure  |  I  flanked  on  each  side  by  the  symbol  VjllV/ 
imix.  "Who  can  fail  to  see  that  this  figure  bears  a  strik- 
ing resemblance  to  the  Egyptian  sign  V  that  Dr.  Young 
translates  m»,'  and  Mr.  ChampoUion  asserts  to  be  simply  the 
letter  M? '  By  a  strange  coincidence,  if  coincidence  there  be, 
the  meaning  of  the  syllable  ma  is  the  same  in  Maya  and  Egyp- 
tian; that  is,  in  both  languages  it  signifies  "earth,"  "place." 
"The  word  ronoi — 'place,'  'site,'"  says  Mr.  ChampoUion, 
"of  the  Greek  text  of  the  Rosetta  inscription  is  expressed  in 
the  hieroglyphic  part  of  the  tablet  by  an  owl  for  M,  and  the 
extended  arm  for  A,  which  gives  the  Coptic  word  /<«  {ma), 
'site,'  'place.'  "^ 

"We  see  that  in  the  Troano  MS.  the  author  represented  the 
earth  by  the  figure  of  an  old  man,*  "  the  grandfather,"  mam  ; 
hence,  by  apocope,  ma,  "earth,"  "site,"  "country,"  "place." 

Ma,  in  the  Maya,  is  also  a  particle  used,  as  in  the  Greek 
language,  in  affirmation  or  negation  according  to  its  position 
before  or  after  the  verb.  Another  curious  coincidence  worthy 
of  notice  is  that  the  sign  of  negation  is  abso-  j-i  lutely 
the  same  for  the  Mayas  as  for  the  Egyptians,  ^  L,.  Bun- 
sen  =  says  that  the  latter  called  it  n^n.     That  word  in  'Maya 

'Dr.  Young,  "Egypt,"  Encyclopedia  Britanniea,  Edinburgh  edition, 
vol.  iv. 

'  ChampoUion  lejeune,  Precis  du  Systeme  hieroglyphique.  etc.,  p.  34. 
» lUd.,  p.  125. 

'  Troano  MS.,  vol.  i.,  Maya  text,  part  ii.,  plates  xxv.-xxvii.,  etpaasim. 
'  Bunsen,  Egypt's  Place  in  Universal  History,  Vocabulary  word  Nen. 


means  "  mirror;  "  and  Nen-ha,  "  the  mirror  of  water,"  was 
anciently  one  of  the  names  of  the  Mexican  Gulf.  This  also 
may  be  a  coincidence. 

No  one  has  ever  told  us  why  the  learned  hierogramanatists 
of  Egypt  gave  to  the  sign  \  the  value  of  ma.    No  one  can ; 

because  nobody  knows  the  origin  of  the  Egyptians,  of  their 
civilization,  nor  the  country  where  it  grew  from  infancj'^  to 
maturity.  They  themselves,  although  they  invariably  pointed 
toward  the  setting  sun  when  questioned  concerning  the  father- 
land of  their  ancestors,  were  ignorant  of  Avho  they  were  and 
whence  they  came.  Nor  did  they  know  who  was  the  inventor 
of  their  alphabet.  "The  Egyptians,  who,  no  doubt,  had  for- 
gotten, or  had  never  known  the  name  of  the  inventor  of  their 
phonetic  signs,  at  the  time  of  Plato  honored  with  it  one  of 
tlieir  gods  of  the  second  order,  TJioth,  who  likewise  was  held 
as  the  father  of  all  sciences  and  arts."  ^ 

It  is  evident  that  we  can  learn  nothing  from  the  Eg}"])tians 
of  the  motives  that  prompted  the  inventor  of  their  alphabetical 
characters  to  select  that  peculiar  figure  /  to  represent  the 
letter  M,  initial  of  their  word  Ma.  The  Mayas,  we  are  in- 
formed,^ made  use  of  the  identical  sign,  and  ascribed  to  it  the 
same  signification.  "We  may  perhaps  find  out  from  them  the 
reasons  that  induced  their  learned  men  to  choose  this  strange 
geometrical  figure  as  part  of  their  symbol  for  Ma,  radical  of 
Mayacli,  name  of  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan.  "Who  knows 
but  that  the  same  cause  Avhich  prompted  them  to  adopt  it  sug- 
gested it  also  to  the  mind  of  the  Egyptian  hierogrammatist  ? 
Many  will,  no  doubt,  object  that  this  may  all  be  pure  coinci- 
dence— the  t\vo  peoples  lived  so  far  apart.     Very  true.     I  do 

'  ChampoUion,  Precis  du  Systeme  Ilieroglypluque,  p.  355. 

"  Lauda,  lielaciondc  las  Oosas  de  Yucatan,  chap,  xli.,  p.  322. 


not  pretend  it  is  not  accidental.  I  merely  suggest  a  possi- 
bility, that,  added  to  other  facts,  may  later  become  a  probabil- 
ity, if  not  a  certainty.  In  the  course  of  these  pages  we  shall 
meet  with  so  many  concurrent  facts,  as  having  existed  both  in 
3Iayacli  and  Egypt,  that  it  will  become  difficult  to  reconcile 
the  mind  to  the  belief  that  they  are,  altogether,  the  identical 
working  of  the  hmnan  intelligence  groping  its  way  out  of  bar- 
barism to  civilization,  as  some  have  more  than  once  hinted, 
as  a  last  resort,  in  their  inability  to  deny  the  striking  concord- 
ance of  these  facts. 

"We  are  told  that  in  the  origin  of  language  names  were 
given  to  places,  objects,  tribes,  individuals,  or  animals,  in  ac- 
cordance with  some  peculiar  inherent  properties  possessed  by 
them,  such  as  shape,  voice,  customs,  etc. ,  and  to  countries  on 
account  of  their  climate,  geological  formation,  geographical 
configuration,  or  any  other  characteristic;  that  is,  by  onomato- 
poeia. This  assertion  seems  to  find  confirmation  in  the  sym- 
bol rj  of  the  Mayas ;  and  the  name  Mayach  forms  no 
exception  to  the  rule. 

In  fact,  if  we  draw  round  the  Yucatan  peninsula  a  geometri- 
cal figure  enclosing  it,  and  composed  of  straight  lines,  by  follow- 
ing the  direction  of  its  eastern,  northern,  and  western 
coasts,  it  is  easy  to  see  that  the  drawing  so  made 
will  unavoidably  be  the  s3nnbol  [1. 

That  fact  alone  might  not  be  deemed  proof  sufficient  to 
affirm  that  the  Mayas,  in  reality,  did  derive  their  sign  for  Ma 
from  this  cause,  since  /-^^  to  complete  it,  as  transmitted  by 
Landa,  the  character  \jll\/  imix '  is  wanting  on  each  side. 

It     does   not  require  a  very  great  effort  of  the  imagina- 
tion to  understand  what  this  sign   is  meant  for.     A  single 
'  Landa,  Relacion  de  las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,  p.  304. 


glance  will  suffice  to  satisfy  us  that  the  drawing  is  intended  to 
represent  a  woman's  breast,  with  its  nipple  and  areola.  Any 
one  inclined  to  doubt  that  such  is  the  case  wiU.  soon  be  con- 
vinced by  examining  the  female  figures  portrayed  in  the  Tro- 
ano  MS.i 

Yes,  imix  is  the  breast,  the  bosom,  called  to-day  simply  im, 
the  word  having  suffered  the  apocope  of  its  desinence  ix,  which 
is  a  copulative  conjunction  and  the  sign  of  the  feminine 

But  iosoTn  is  also  an  enclosed  place.  ^  We  say  "  the  bosom  of 
the  deep,"  le  sein  de  la  terre,  el  seno  de  los  ma/res.^  It  was 
in  that  sense,  indeed,  that  the  Maya  sages,  who  invented  the 
characters  and  symbols  with  which  to  give  their  thoughts  a 
material  form,  made  use  of  it.     This  fact  becomes  apparent  if 

'  Troano  MS.,  part  1,  plate  xxii.     See  Appendix,  note  iii. 

The  reader  may  perhaps  desire  to  know  the  mean- 
ing of  this  picture.  Alas!  it  teaches  us  that  the 
powers  that  govern  nature  were  as  indifferent  to  the 
lot  of  man  in  remote  ages  as  they  are  to-day  ;  that 
no  creatures,  whatever  they  be,  have  for  them  any 
importance  beyond  their  acting  of  the  role  which 
they   are   called  upon  to  play   momentarily   in   the 

/'vVvVVW^^S"     S''^**  ^^^^^  °^  creation. 

The  figures  are  anthropomorphous  representations 
— the  kneeling,  supplicating  female,  of  the  "  Land  of  Mu ; "  the  male,  of  the 
"Lord  of  the  Seven  Fires  "  (volcanoes),  Men  kak  uuc.  Mil,  in  an  im- 
ploring posture,  comes  to  inform  him  that  one  of  his  volcanoes  lias  caused 
the  basin  at  the  edge  of  her  domains  to  rise,  and  has  converted  the  coun- 
try into  marshy  ground.  She  speaks  thus  ;  "  Alt  lia  pe  be  be  imik 
Kaan"  (that  is,  "The  basin  has  risen  rapidly,  and  the  land  has  become 
marshy  ")  Men  Kak  uuc,  for  all  consolation,  replies  :  "  Imix  be  Ak 
Mu  ?  "  ("  So  the  basin  in  rising  has  caused  the  laud  to  become  marshy, 
Mu  ?  ")  This  is  evidently  the  record  of  a  geological  event — the  rising  of 
the  part  of  the  bottom  of  the  ocean  near  Mu. 
'  Webster,  English  Dictionary. 
'  Diccionario  Es2MUoI  por  una  socU'dad  litcraria. 


we  examine  the  drawing  still  more  closely,  and  notice  the  four 
lines  drawn  in  the  lower  part,  as  if  to  shade  it.  If  we  con- 
sider each  line  as  equivalent  to  one  unit,  their  sum  represents 
the  numerical /owr — can — in  the  Maya  language.  We  have 
already  seen  that  can  also  means  "serpent,"  /*''»v  one  of 
the  symbols  for  the  sea,  canah.  Then  the  two  \^|y  imix 
are  placed,  one  on  each  side  of  the  geometrical  figure  j  I 
image  of  the  peninsula,  to  typify  the  two  gulfs  whose  waters 
bathe  its  shores  —  on  the  left  that  of  Mexico,  on  the  right 
the  Caribbean  Sea.  That  this  was  the  idea  of  the  invent- 
ors of  the  symbol  is  evident;  for  as  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  is 
smaller  than  the  Caribbean  Sea,  and  the  Avestern  coast  line 
of  Yucatan  shorter  than  the  eastern,  so  in  the  drawiiig  the 
imix  on  the  left  of  the  figure  |  j  is  smaller  than  the  Iniix 
on  the  right,  and  the  line  on  the  left  shorter  than  that  on  the 

This  explanation  being  correct,  it  clearly  proves,  as  much  as 
a  proposition  of  r^  that  nature  can  be  demonstrated, 
that  the  character  q-^  ' — q  owes  its  origin,  among  the  Mayas, 
to  the  configuration  of  the  Yucatan  peninsula,  and  its  posi- 
tion between  two  gulfs,  and  that  the  inventors  were  acquainted 
Avith  their  extent  and  contour. 

Not  a  fe^v,  even  among  well-read  people,  often  express  a 
doubt  as  to  the  ancient  Mayas  having  possessed  accurate  in- 
formation respecting  the  existence  of  the  various  continents  and 
islands  that  form  the  habitable  portions  of  the  earth ;  question- 
ing likewise  if  they  were  acquainted  even  with  the  geography 
and  configuration  of  the  lands  in  which  they  lived ;  seeming  to 
entertain  the  idea  that  the  science  of  general  geography 
belongs  exclusively  to  modern  times. 

The  name  Maya,    found   among  all  civilized   nations  of 


antiquity,  in  Asia,  Africa,  Europe,  as  well  as  in  America, 
always  with  the  same  meaning,  should  be  sufficient  to  prove 
that  in  very  remote  ages  the  Mayas  had  intimate  relations 
with  the  inhabitants  of  the  lands  situated  on  those  continents, 
were  therefore  great  travellers,  and  must,  perforce,  have  been 
acquainted  with  the  general  geography  of  the  planet. 

We  must  not  lose  sight  of  the  fact  that  we  know  but  very 
little  indeed  of  the  ancient  American  civilizations.  The  annals 
of  the  learned  men  of  Mayach.  having  been  either  hidden 
or  destroyed,  it  is  impossible  for  us  to  judge  of  the  scope  of 
their  scientific  attainments.  That  they  were  expert  architects, 
the  monuments  built  by  them,  that  have  resisted  for  ages  the 
disintegrating  action  of  the  elements  and  that  of  vegetation, 
bear  ample  testimony.  The  analysis  of  the  gnomon  discovered 
by  the  writer  in  the  ruins  of  the  ancient  city  of  Mayapan, 
in  1880,  proves  conclusively  that  they  had  made  advance  in  the 
science  of  astronomy.  They  knew,  as  well  as  we  do,  how  to 
calculate  the  latitudes  and  longitudes;  the  epochs  of  the  sol- 
stices and  of  the  equinoxes;  the  division  of  time  into  solar 
years  of  three  hundred  and  sixtj^-five  days  and  six  hours :  that 
of  the  year  into  twelve  months  of  thirty  days,  to  which  thej'^ 
added  five  supplementary  days  that  were  left  without  name 
and  regarded  as  inauspicious.  During  these,  as  on  the  third 
day  of  the  Epact  among  the  Egyptians,  all  business  was  sus- 
pended; they  did  not  even  go  out  of  their  houses,  lest  some 
misfortune  should  befall  them.  All  those  calculations  required, 
of  course,  a  thorough  knowledge  of  algebra,  geometry,  trigo- 
nometry, and  the  other  branches  of  mathematics.  That  they 
were  no  mean  di-aughtsmen  and  sculptors,  the  fi'esco  paintings, 
the  inscriptions  and  bas-reliefs  carved  on  marble,  that  are  stiU 
extant,  bear  unimpeachable  testimony. 


The  study  of  the  Troano  MS.  will  convince  any  one  that  the 
learned  author  of  that  book,  and  no  doubt  many  of  his  asso- 
ciates, had  not  only  a  thorough  knowledge  of  the  geographical 
configuration  of  the  Western  Continent  and  the  adjacent  islands, 
but  also  of  their  geological  formation.  The  "Lands  of  the 
West "  are  represented  by  these  symbols,  rsfyj^^/p^  ^^f^^JfSk 
which  some  have  translated  Atlan. '  They  JV^^T  ^tjSgSumr 
leave   no   room   for   doubting    that  the  ^^1^^ 

Mayas  were  acquainted  with  the  eastern  coasts  of  said  con- 
tinent, from  the  bay  of  Saint  Lawrence  in  latitude  north  48°  to 
Cape  St.  Koque,  in  Brazil,  in  latitude  south  5°  28'.  The  two  signs 
^^^\\  ^^  O  *^^  ^^®  locality 'placed  under  the  symbols  repre- 
sent the  two  large  regions  of  the  Western  Conti-  y''~\ 
nent,  North  and  South  America ;  whilst  the  signs  \^y 
and  h>Q^  seen  Avithin  the  curve  figuring  the  northern  basin 
of  the  Atlantic,  stand  for  the  Land  of  Mu,  that  extensive 
island  now  submerged  under  the  waves  of  the  ocean. 

The  sign  l>Q/\ ,  as  well  as  this  h'^'^  that  forms  the  upper 
part  of  the  symbol,  is  familiar  to  all  students  of  Egyptology. 
These  will  tell  you  that  the  first  meant,  in  the  EgyiJtian 
hieroglyphs,  "  the  sun  setting  on  the  horizon,"  and  the  second, 
' '  the  mountainous  countries  in  the  west. ' ' 

As  to  the  conventional  posture  given  to  all  the  statues  of 
the  rulers  and  other  illustrious  personages  in  Mayach  it  con- 
firms the  fact  of  their  geographical  attainments.  If  Ave  com- 
pare, for  instance,  the  outlines  of  the  efiigy  of  Prince  Coh 
discovered  by  the  author  at  Cliichen-Itza  in   1875,  Avith 

'  Kingsborough,  Mexican  Antiquities,  vol.  i.,  and  Comment,  vol.  v.  Atlan 
is  not  a  Maya  but  a  Nahuatl  word.  It  is  composed  of  tlie  two  primitives 
Atl,  "water,"  and  Tlan,  "near,"  "between."  The  Maya  name  for  the 
symbol  is  Alau. 


the  contour  of  the  eastern  coasts  of  the  American  continent, 

placing  the  head  at  New- 
foundland, the  knees  at 
Cape  St.  Eoque,  and  the 
feet  at  Cape  Horn,  it  is 
^<&  easy  to  perceive  that  they 
are  identical.  The  shal- 
low basin  held  on  the 
belly  of  the  statue,  between  the  hands,  would  then  be  symbol- 
ical of  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  and  of  the  Caribbean  Sea.^ 

Again,  the  outlines  of  the  profile  of  the  statue  may  also 
represent  Avith  great  accuracy  the  eastern  shores  of  the  Maya 
Empire — the  head  being  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan,  anciently 
the  seat  of  the  government ;  the  knees  would  then  correspond 
to  Cape  Gracias  a  Dios,  in  Nicaragua;  the  feet  to  the  Isthmus 
of  Darien,  the  southern  boundary  of  the  empire ;  and  the  shal- 
low basin  on  the  belly  would  in  that  case  stand  for  the  Bay  of 
Honduras,  part  of  the  Caribbean  Sea.  The  Antilles  were 
known  to  the  Mayas  as  the  "  Land  of  the  Scorpion,"  Ziiiaan, 
and  were  represented  by  the  Maya  hierogrammatist  by  the 
figure    of  that  arachnid,   or   in  his   cursive  writing  by  this 

other  /■ >^  ^  proof  evident  that  he  was  as  well  acquainted 

as  we  are  with  the  general  outlines  of  the  archipelago. 

'  Various  other  statues  discovered  by  the  writer  at  Chicheii-Itza  liave 
the  same  position,  and  hold  a  basin  on  the  belly,  between  their  hands. 
Others,  again,  are  to  be  seen  in  the  "  National  JIaseum  "  of  Mexico,  all 
having  the  same  conventional  attitude,  with  the  head  turned  to  the  right 

"  Troano  MS.,  part  11,  plates  vi.,  vii. 

In  the  tableau,  plate  v.,  which  forms  the  middle  section  of  plate  xiii. 
in  the  second  i)art  of  the  Troano  MS.,  the  author  describes  the  occurrence 
of  a  certain  phenomenon  of  volcanic  origin,  whose  focus  of  action  was  lo- 
cated in  the  volcanoes  of  the  island  of  Trinidad,  figured  by  the  image  of  a 

Page  Ix. 

Plate  V. 


The  ancient  Maya  sages  sometimes  likened  the  earth  to  a 
caldron,  cum,  because  as  nutriment  is  cooked  in  such  utensil, 
so  also  all  that  exists  on  the  surface  of  the  earth  is  first  elab- 
orated in  its  bosom.  Sometimes,  likewise,  on  account  of  its 
rotundity,  and  because  it  contains  the  germs  of  all  things,  they 
compared  the  earth  to  a  calabash,  kum,  full  of  seeds.  These 
similes  seem  to  have  been  favorite  ones,  since  they  made  fre- 
quent use  of  them  in  illustrating  their  explanations  of  the 
geological  phenomena  which  have  convulsed  our  planet.  Per- 
haps also  the  second  reason  was  what  caused  them  to  generally 
adopt  a  circular  shape  for  the  characters  they  invented  to  give 
material  expression  to  the  multitudinous  conceptions  of  their 
mind  (unless  it  be  that  they  gave  that  form  to  these  charac- 
ters from  that  of  their  skull,  containing  the  brain,  organ  of 
thought).  The  fact  is  that  their  symbol  for  the  name  May- 
acli,  of  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan,  affects  the  shape  of  a  cala- 
bash, Avith  its  tendril  just  sprouted — a  yacli  or  acli,  as  the 
natives  call  a  young  sprout. 

What  can  have  induced  the  hierogrammatists  to  select  a 

hand  at  the  end  of  the  scorpion's  tail.  The  rope  that  connects  said  hand 
with  the  raised  right  forefoot  of  the  deer  indicates  that  not  only  the  seis- 
mic action  was  felt  throughout  the  length  of  the  Caribbean  Sea,  from  south 
to  north,  but  that  it  produced  the  upheaval  of  some  locality  in  the  northern 
parts  of  said  sea.  Beginning,  naturally,  the  reading  of  the  legend  by  the 
column  on  the  right,  we  find  that  he  describes  the  phenomenon  in  the  fol- 
lowing words:  "Oc  ik  ix  canab  ezali  uab "  (that  is,  "A  handful 
(small  quantity)  of  gases,  escaped  from  the  crater,  caused  canab  to  show 
the  palm  of  liis  hand  ").  According  to  its  location  this  raised  forefoot  may 
be  the  uplieaval  of  the  large  volcano  that  looms  high  in  the  air  in  the  middle 
of  the  island  of  Roatan,  the  largest  of  the  group  called  Guanacas  in  the  Bay 
of  Honduras,  where  the  Mayas  met  the  Spaniards  for  the  first  time  in  1503. 
The  second  column  reads  :  "  Cib  caualcimte  lam  a  ti  ahau  O-" 
("The  lava  having  filled  (raised)  the  submerged  places,  the  master  of  the 
basin,''  etc.)  (The  last  sign  being  completely  obliterated,  we  cannot  know 
what  the  author  had  said.) 



germinating  calabash  as  part  of  the  name  of  their  country, 
remains  to  be  explained. 

If  we  examine  the  map  of  the  lands  back  of  the  peninsula, 
it  will  not  be  difficult  to  discover  the  idea  uppermost  in  the 
mind  of  the  draughtsman  at  the  time  of  composing  the  sj^m- 
bol;  and  to  see  that  he  was  as  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the 
geography  of  the  interior  and  the  western  shores  of  those 
parts  of  the  continent,  as  with  the  configuration  of  its  eastern 
coasts;  also  that  their  geological  formation  was  no  mystery 
to  him.  cTL 

By  comparing  this  symbol  ^^jO*  with  the  shape  of  the 
countries  immediately  south  of  vg^  the  peninsula,  notwith- 
standing the  changes  that  are  continually  taking  place  in  the 
contour  of  the  coast  lines,  particularly  at  the  mouth  of  rivers,^ 
by  the  action  of  currents,  etc. ,  we  cannot  fail  to  recognize  that 

the  hierogrammatist 
assumed  it  to  be  the 
sprout  of  a  calabash, 
the  body  of  which  was 
represented  \>\  the 
lands  comprised  with- 
in the  segment  of 
a  circle  having  for 
radius  the  half  of  a  line,  parallel  to  the  eastern  and  western 
shores  of  the  peninsula,  starting  from  Point  Lagartos,  on  the 
northern  coast  of  Yucatan,  drawn  across  the  countrj"^  to  the  shore 
of  the  Pacific  Ocean  on  the  south.  For  if,  from  the  middle  of 
said  line  as  centre,  we  describe  a  circumference,  part  of  it  will 
follow  exactly  the  bent  of  the  coast  line  of  said  ocean,  opposite 
the  northern  shore  of  the  peninsula;  another  part  will  cross  the 
'  Charles  Lycll,  Principles  of  Ocology,  vol.  i.,  chap,  iii.,  p.  252. 


Isthmus  of  Tehuantepeo,  the  northern  frontier  of  the  Maya 
Empu-e,  and,  if  carried  overland  on  the  south  until  it  intersect 
the  seaboard  of  the  Bay  of  Honduras,  the  segment  of  the  circle 
thus  formed  resembles  the  bottom  of  a  calabash,  and  the 
peninsula  the  sprout. 

Analyzing  the  character  yet  more  closely,  "we  see  a  line  of 
dots  on  each  side  of  the  base  of  the  sprout,  the  ^^  root  of 
which  is  made  to  repose  on  the  curled  figure  ^^  intended 
to  represent  the  curling  of  the  smoke  as  it  ascends  into 
the  air  from  the  crater  of  the  volcanoes  among  the  mountains, 
indicated,  as  on  our  maps,  by  the  etchings  on  both  sides  of  the 
body  of  the  s3Tnbol.  These  tokens  prove  that  the  designer 
knew  the  geological  formation  of  the  country  in  which  he 
lived ;  and  that  the  peninsula  had  been  upheaved  from  the  bot- 
tom of  the  sea  by  the  action  of  volcanic  forces,  whose  centre 
of  activity  was  in  his  time,  as  it  still  is,  in  the  mountains  of 
Guatemala,  far  away  in  the  interior  of  the  continent.  By 
placing  the  small  end  of  the  sprout  deep  into  the  figure  on 
the  focus  of  the  volcanic  action,  on  the  curling  line  of  the 
smoke,  and  by  the  dots,  on  both  sides  of  the  root  of  the  sprout, 
he  shows  that  he  knew  that  the  upheaval  of  the  peninsula  was 
effected  by  the  expansive  force  of  the  gases,  which  produce 
earthquakes  by  their  pressure  on  the  uneven  under  surface 
of  the  superficial  strata,  too  homogeneous  to  permit  their 
escape.  1 

Thus  it  is  that  we  come  to  learn  from  the  pen  of  an  ancient 
Maya  philosopher  that  the  name  of  his  people,  once  upon  a 
time  so  broadly  scattered  over  the  face  of  the  earth,  had  its 

'  Sir  Charles  Lyell,  Principles  of  Geology,  chap,  xxxii.,  xxxiii.  Augustus 
Le  Plongeon,  "The  Causes  of  Earthquakes,"  Van  Nostrand''s  Engineenng 
Magazine,  vol.  6,  Nos.  41,  43. 


origin  in  that  of  the  country  they  inhabited,  a  place  situated 
in  the  northern  tropical  ^^  parts  of  the  "Western  Continent, 
in  that  "  Land  of  Kui,"  ^  '  that  mysterious  home  of  their 
ancestors,  where  the  Egyptians  thought  the  souls  of  their 
departed  friends  went  to  dwell,  which  was  known  to  its  inhab- 
itants as  Mayacli,  a  word  that  in  their  language  meant 
the  "first  land,"  the  "land  just  sprouted,"  also  the  "hard 
land,"  the  "terra  firma,"  as  we  learn  from  the  sign  \\  'of 
aspiration,  hardness,  coagulation,  placed  each  side  of  the 
body  of  the  calabash,  to  indicate,  perhaps,  the  rocky  forma- 
tion of  its  soil,  and  that  it  had  Avithstood  the  awful  cata- 
clysms which  <ff^-ri_r>  swept  from  the  face  of  the  earth  the 
Land  of  Mu  ^^^^  and  many  other  places  with  their  popu- 
lations. The  priests  of  Egypt,  Chaldea,  and  India  preserved 
the  remembrance  of  their  destruction  in  the  archives  of  their 
temples,  as  did  those  of  Mayacli  on  the  other  side  of  the 

The  latter  did  not  content  themselves  with  recording  the 
relation  in  their  treatises  on  geology  and  history,  but  in  order 
to  preserve  its  memory  for  future  generations  they  caused  it  to 
be  carved  on  a  stone  tablet  which  they  fastened  to  the  wall  in 
one  of  the  apartments  of  their  college  at  Cliicllen,  where 
it  is  yet  seen.  The  natives  have  perpetuated,  from  genera- 
tion to  generation,  for  centuries,  the  name  of  that  inscrip- 
tion. They  still  call  it  Akab-aib,  the  awful,  the  tenebrous 

'  Sir  Gardner  WilUiuson,  Manners  and  Customs  of  Ancient  Egyptians,  vol. 
iii.,  p.  70.  "Kui  Land,"  according  to  tlie  Maya  language  the  "land  of 
the  gods,"  the  birthplace  of  the  Goddess  Maya,  "the  uiotlier  of  the  gods  " 
and  of  men,  the  feminine  energy  of  Brahma  by  'whose  union  with  Brahma 
all  things  were  produced. 

^  Landa,  Mchicion  de  las  Cosas  do  Yucatan,  chap,  xli.,  p.  323. 


The  history  of  that  terrible  catastrophe,  recounted  in  vari- 
ous ways  in  the  sacred  books  of  the  different  nations  among 
which  vestiges  of  the  presence  of  the  Mayas  are  to  be  found, 
continues  to  be  the  appalling  tradition  of  a  great  portion  of 


We  infer  the  spirit  of  the  nation  in  great 
measure  from  the  language,  which  is  a  sort  of 
monument  to  which  each  forcible  indimd/ual  in 
a  course  of  many  hundred,  years  has  contrib- 
uted a  stone. 

(Bal^jh  Waldo  Emerson, 
Essays,  XX.,  "■  Nominalist  and  Realist.") 

In  ages  long  lost  in  the  abyss  of  time,  when  Aryan  colonists 
had  not  yet  established  their  first  settlements  on  the  banks 
of  the  river  Saraswati  in  the  Punjab,  and  the  primitive  Egyp- 
tian settlers  in  the  valley  of  the  Nile  did  not  fancy,  even  in 
their  most  hopeful  day-dreams,  that  their  descendants  would 
become  the  great  people  whose  civilization  was  to  be  the 
cradle  of  that  of  Europe,  there  existed  on  the  Western  Conti- 
nent a  nation — the  Maya — that  had  attained  to  a  high  degree 
of  culture  in  arts  and  sciences. 

Valmiki,  in  his  beautiful  epic  the  "Ramayana,"  which  is 
said  to  have  served  as  model  to  Homer's  "  Iliad,"  teUs  us  that 
the  Mayas  were  mighty  navigators,  whose  ships  travelled 
from  the  western  to  the  eastern  ocean,  from  the  southern  to 
the  northern  seas,  in  ages  so  remote  that  "the  sun  had  not 
yet  risen  above  the  horizon;  "  '  that,  being  lUiewise  great  war- 
rioi's,  they  conquered  the  southern  parts  of  the  Hindostanee 
'  Valmiki,  Ramayana,  Hippolyte  Fauclig's  trauslatiou,  vol.  i.,  p.  353. 

2  QUEEN  m60  and   TEE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

peninsula,  and  established  themselves  there;  that,  being  also 
learned  architects,  they  built  great  cities  and  palaces.'  These 
Mayas  became  known  in  after  times  under  the  names  of  Da- 
navas,^  and  are  regarded  by  modern  historians  as  aborigines 
of  the  country,  or  Nagds  as  we  shall  see  later  on.  Of  these 
J.  Talboys  Wheeler  in  his  "History  of  India"  says:^  "The 
traditions  of  the  Nagds  are  obscure  in  the  extreme ;  they  point, 
however,  to  the  existence  of  an  ancient  Naga  empire  in  the 
Dekkan,  having  its  capital  in  the  modern  town  of  Nagpore, 
and  it  may  be  conjectured  that,  prior  to  the  Aryan  invasion,  the 
Nagd  rajas  exercised  an  imperial  power  over  the  greatest  part 
of  the  Punjab  and  Hindostan.  .  .  .  The  Nagds,  or  serpent 
worshippers,  who  lived  in  crowded  cities  and  were  famous  for 
their  beautiful  women  and  exhaustless  treasures,  were  doubt- 

'  Valmiki,  Bamayana,  vol.  ii.,  p.  26.  "  In  olden  times  there  was  a  prince 
of  the  Danavas,  a,  learned  magician  endowed  with  great  power  ;  his  name 
was  Maya.  It  was  he  who,  by  magic  art,  constructed  this  golden  grotto. 
He  was  the  viivakarma  ("  architect  of  the  gods  ")  of  the  principal  Danavas, 
and  this  superb  palace  of  solid  gold  is  the  work  of  his  hands." 

Maya  is  mentioned  in  the  Mahahharata  as  one  of  the  si.x  individuals 
who  were  allowed  to  escape  with  their  life  at  the  burning  of  the  forest  of 
Khandava,  whose  inhabitants  were  all  destroyed. 

We  read  in  John  Campbell  Oman's  work,  Tlte  Great  Indian  Epics  (p. 
118) :  "  Now,  Maya  was  the  chief  arcliitect  of  the  Danavas,  and  iu  grati- 
tude for  his  preservation  built  a  wonderful  saWia,  or  hall,  for  the  Pandavas, 
the  most  beautiful  structure  of  its  kind  in  the  whole  world." 

''  Danava  =  Tan-ha-ba  :  Tan,  "  midst;  "  lia,  "water;  "  ba,  a  com- 
positive particle  used  to  form  reflexive  desinences;  "tliey  who  live  in  the 
midst  of  the  water  " — navigators. 

This  Maya  etymon  accords  perfectly  with  what  Professor  John  Camp- 
bell Oman  in  his  work  The  Great  Indian  Epics,  "  Mahabharata  "  (p.  133), 
says  with  regard  to  the  dwelling-place  of  the  Danavas : 

"  Arjuna  carried  war  against  a  tribe  of  the  Danavas,  the  Nivata-Kava- 
chas,  who  were  very  powerful,  numbering  thirty  millions,  whose  principal 
city  was  Hiranyapura.  They  dwelt  in  the  womb  of  the  ocean."  (The  name 
Hiranyapura  means  iu  Maya  "dragged  in  the  middle  of  the  water  jar.'") 

'  J.  Talboys  Wlieeler,  Iliatonj  of  India,  vol.  iii.,  pp.  5G-57. 

Page  3. 

Plate  VI. 


less  a  civilized  people  living  under  an  organized  government. 
Indeed,  if  any  inference  can  be  drawn  from  the  epic  legends 
it  would  be  that,  prior  to  the  Aryan  conquest,  the  Naga  rajas 
were  ruling  powers,  who  had  cultivated  the  arts  of  luxury  to 
an  extraordinary  degree,  and  yet  succeeded  in  maintaining  a 
protracted  struggle  against  the  Aryan  invaders." 

Like  the  Enghsh  of  to-day,  the  Mayas  sent  colonists  all 
over  the  earth.  These  carried  with  them  the  language,  the 
traditions,  the  architecture,  astronomy,^  cosmogony,  and  other 
sciences — in  a  word,  the  civilization  of  their  mother  country. 
It  is  this  civilization  that  furnishes  us  with  the  means  of  ascer- 
taining the  role  played  by  them  in  the  universal  history  of  the 
world.  We  find  vestiges  of  it,  and  of  their  language,  in  all 
historical  nations  of  antiquity  in  Asia,  Africa,  and  Europe. 
They  are  still  frequent  in  the  countries  where  they  flourished. 

It  is  easy  to  follow  their  tracks  across  the  Pacific  to  India, 
by  the  imprints  of  their  hands  dipped  in  a  red  liquid  and 
pressed  against  the  walls  of  temples,  caves,  and  other  places 
looked  upon  as  sacred,  to  implore  the  benison  of  the  gods — also 
by  their  name,  Maya,  given  to  the  banana  tree,  symbol  of 
their  country,^  whose  broad  leaf  is  yet  a  token  of  hospitality 

'  H.  T.  Colebrooke,  "Memoirs  on  the  Sacred  Books  of  India,"  Asiatic 
PesearcJies,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  369-476,  says:  "Maya  is  considered  as  the  author 
of  the  SmryorSiddhanta,  the  most  ancient  treatise  on  astronomy  in  India. 
He  is  represented  as  receiving  his  science  from  a  partial  incarnation  of 
the  Sun."  This  work,  on  which  all  the  Indian  astronomy  is  founded,  was 
discovered  at  Benares  by  Sir  Robert  Chambers.  Mr.  Samuel  Davis  partly 
translated  it,  particularly  those  sections  which  relate  to  the  calculation 
of  eclipses.  It  is  a  work  of  very  great  antiquity,  since  it  is  attributed  to  a 
Maya  author  whose  astronomical  rules  show  that  he  was  well  acquainted 
with  trigonometry  {Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  345-249),  proving  that 
abstruse  sciences  were  cultivated  in  those  remote  ages,  before  the  invasion 
of  India  by  the  Aryans.     (See  Appendix,  note  vi.) 

'  Codex  Cortesianiis,  plates  7  and  8. 

4  QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

among  the  natives  of  the  islands ; '  then  along  the  shores  of 
the  Indian  Ocean  and  those  of  the  Persian  Gulf  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Euphrates;  up  that  river  to  Babylon,  the  renowned 
City  of  the  Sun;  thence  across  the  Syrian  desert  to  the  valley 
of  the  Nile,  where  they  finally  settled,  and  gave  the  name  of 
their  mother  country  to  a  district  of  Nubia,  calling  it  Maiu 
or  Maioo.^  After  becoming  firmly  established  in  Egypt  they 
sent  colonists  to  Syria.  These  reached  as  far  north  as  Mount 
Taurus,  founding  on  their  way  settlements  along  the  coast  of 
the  Mediterranean,  in  Sidon,  Tyre,  the  valley  of  the  Orontes, 
and  again  on  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates,  to  the  north  of 
Babylon,  in  Mesopotamia. 

Mayacli  (that  is,  "  the  land  that  first  arose  from  the 
bottom  of  the  deep  ")  was  the  name  of  the  empire  whose  sov- 
ereigns bore  the  title  of  Can  (serpent),  spelt  to-day  Jchan  in 
Asiatic  countries.^  This  title,  given  by  the  Mayas  to  their 
rulers,  was  derived  from  the  contour  of  the  empire,  that  of 
a  serpent  with  inflated  breast,  which  in  their  books  and  their 
sculptures  they  represented  sometimes  with,  sometimes  without 
wings,  as  the  Egyptians  did  the  urceus,  symbol  of  their  coun- 
try, ^lian  says:  "It  was  the  custom  of  the  Egyptian  kings 
to  wear  asps  of  different  colors  in  their  crowns,  this  reptile 

'  Captain  J.  Cook,   Voyage  among  tlie  Islands  of  the  Pacific. 

^  Henry  Brugsch-Bey,  History  of  Egypt  tinder  the  Pharaohs,  vol.  i.,  p.  363; 
vol.  ii.,  p.  78  (note)  and  p.  174.  The  name  is  comprised  in  the  list  of  the 
lauds  conquered  by  Thotmes  III.,  and  in  the  list  found  in  a  sepulchral 
chamber  in  Nubia. 

"  Klian  is  the  title  of  the  kings  of  Tartary,  Burmah,  Afghanistan,  and 
other  Asiatic  countries.  The  flag  of  China  is  yellow,  with  a  green  dragon 
in  the  centre.  That  of  the  Angles  also  bore  as  symbol  a  dragon  or  serpent; 
that  of  the  Saxons,  according  to  Urtti-scind,  a  lion,  a  dragon,  and  over 
them  a  flying  eagle  ;  that  of  the  Manchous,  a  golden  dragon  on  a  crimson 
field;  that  of  the  Huns,  a  dragon.  Their  chief  was  called  Kakhan— short 
for  Khan-Khan. 

Page  Jf. 

Plafe  VII. 

Page  5. 

Plate  VIII. 


being  emblematic  of  the  invincible  power  of  royalty ;'"  but 
he  does  not  inform  us  why  it  was  selected  as  such  an  emblem, 
nor  does  Plutarch,  although  he  also  teUs  us  that  it  was  the 
symbol  of  royalty.  ^  Pausanias^  affirms  that  the  asp  was 
held  sacred  throughout  Egypt,  and  at  Omphis  particularly 
enjoyed  the  greatest  honor.  Phylarchus  states  the  same 

StiU.  the  Egyptian  sages  must  have  had  very  strong  motives 
for  thus  honoring  this  serpent  and  causing  it  to  play  so  con- 
spicuous a  part  in  the  mysteries  of  their  religion.  Was  it  per- 
chance in  commemoration  of  the  mother  country  of  their 
ancestors,  beyond  the  sea,  toward  the  setting  sun  ?  There  the 
ancient  rulers,  after  receiving  the  honors  of  apotheosis,  were 
always  represented  in  the  monuments  as  serpents  covered  with 
feathers,  the  heads  adorned  with  horns,  and  a  flame  instead 
of  a  crown;  often,  also,  with  simply  a  crown. 

It  is  well  to  remember  that  in  Egypt  the  cerastes,  or  horned 
snakes,  were  the  only  serpents,  with  the  asp,  that  were  held  as 
sacred.  Herodotus^  tells  us  that  "when  they  die  they  are 
buried  in  the  temple  of  Jupiter,  to  whom  they  are  reputed 

The  Maya  Empire  comprised  aU  the  lands  between  the 
Isthmus  of  Tehuantepec  and  that  of  Darien,  known  to-day 
as  Central  America.  The  history  of  the  sovereigns  that  had 
governed  it,  and  of  the  principal  events  that  had  taken  place 
in  the  nation,  was  written  in  well-bound  books  of  papy- 
rus or  parchment,  covered  with  highly  ornamented  wooden 

'  jElian,  Nat.  An.,  lib.  vi.,  33. 

"  Plutarch,  De  Iside  et  Osiride,  S.  74. 

'  Pausanias,  BcBot.,  c.  21. 

'  jElian,  Nat.  An.,  lib.  xvii.  5. 

'  Herodotus,  lib.  ii.,  Ixxiv. 

6  QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

boards,'  while  the  most  important  occurrences  were  Likewise 
carved  in  stone  on  the  walls  of  their  public  edifices,  to  preserve 
their  record  in  a  lasting  and  indeUble  manner  for  the  knowledge 
of  future  generations.  It  is  from  these  sculptured  and  written 
memoirs  graven  on  their  palaces  at  Uxmal  and  Cliichen  in 
the  peninsula  of  Yucatan,  the  head  of  the  imperial  serpent 
and  the  seat  of  the  government  of  the  Maya  Empire,  that  the 
author  has  learned  the  history  of  Queen  Mdo  and  her  family. 

At  its  southern  extremity  and  on  the  top  of  the  east  Avail 
of  the  tennis  court  at  Chicllen,  there  is  a  building  that  is  of 
the  greatest  interest  to  the  archfeologist,  the  historian,  and  the 
ethnologist ;  while  the  architect  may  learn  from  it  many  useful 
lessons.  John  L.  Stephens,  who  visited  it  in  1842,  speaks  of 
it  as  a  casket  containing  the  most  precious  jewels  of  ancient 
American  art.^ 

It  was  a  memorial  hall  erected  by  order  of  Queen  Mdo, 
and  dedicated  to  the  memory  of  her  brother-husband.  Prince 
Coh,  an  eminent  warrior.  Those  paintings  so  much  admired 
by  Stephens,  rivalling  the  frescos  in  the  tombs  of  Egypt  and 
Etruria,  or  the  imagery  on  the  walls  of  the  palaces  of  Babylon 
mentioned  hy  Ezekiel,  were  a  pictorial  record  of  the  life  of 
Prince  Coli  from  the  time  of  his  youth  to  that  of  his  death, 
and  of  the  events  that  followed  it.     They  thus  form  a  few 

'  Landa,  Las  Corns  de  Yucatan,  pp.  44,  316.  CogoUudo,  Historia  de  Yu- 
cathan,  etc.,  lib.  iv.,  cap.  v. 

These  books  were  exactly  like  the  holy  books  now  in  use  in  Thibet. 
These  also  are  written  on  parchment  strips  about  eighteen  inches  loug  and 
four  broad,  bound  with  wooden  boards,  and  wrapped  up  in  cvuiously  em- 
broidered silk. 

C.  F.  Gordon  Gumming,  In  the  Himalayas  and  on  the  Indian  Plains, 
p.  438. 

^  John  L.  Stephens,  Incidents  of  Travels  in  Yucatan,  vol.  ii.,  p.  310,  et 

Page  7. 

Plate  IX. 


pages  of  the  ancient  history  of  the  Maya  nation,  and  of  the 
last  days  of  the  Can  dynasty. 

This  interesting  edifice  is  now  in  ruins.  Enough,  however, 
remains  to  have  enabled  the  writer  to  make  not  only  an  accu- 
rate plan  of  it,  but  a  restoration  perfect  in  all  its  details. 

After  climbing  to  the  top  of  the  wall,  that  formed  a  ter- 
race six  metres  wide,  levelled  and  paved  with  square  marble 
slabs  carefully  adjusted,  we  find  a  broad  stairway  composed  of 
five  steps.  Ascending  these,  we  stand  on  a  platform,  and  be- 
tween two  marble  columns  each  one  metre  in  diameter.  The 
base  of  these  columns  is  formed  of  a  single  monolith  one 
metre  twenty  centimetres  high  and  two  metres  long,  carved  in 


the  shape  of  serpent  heads  with  mouth  open  and  tongue  pro- 
truding. The  shaft  represents  the  body  of  the  serpent,  emblem 
of  royalty  in  Mayach,  as  it  was  in  Egypt  and  as  it  is  yet 
in  many  countries  of  Asia.  It  is  covered  with  sculptured 
feathers,  image  of  the  mantle  of  feathers  worn  in  court  cere- 
monials by  the  kings  and  the  highpriests  as  insignia  of  their 

Between  these  columns  there  was  a  grand  altar  supported 
by  fifteen  atlantes,   three  abreast  and  five  deep,  whose  faces 

8  QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

were  portraits  of  friends  and  relatives  of  the  dead  warrior. 
On  this  altar,  placed  at  the  door  of  the  inner  chamber,  they 
were  wont  to  make  offerings  to  his  manes,  just  as  the  Egyp- 
tians made  oblations  of  fruits  and  flowers  to  the  dead  on  altars 
erected  at  the  entrance  of  the  tombs.  ^    From  Papyrus  IV.,  at 


the  Bulaq  Museum,  we  learn  that  the  making  of  offerings  to 
the  dead  was  taught  as  a  moral  precept.  "  Bring  offerings  to 
thy  father  and  thy  mother  who  rest  in  the  valley  of  the  tombs; 
for  he  who  gives  these  offerings  is  as  acceptable  to  the  gods 
as  if  they  were  brought  to  themselves.  Often  visit  the  dead, 
so  that  what  thou  dost  for  them,  thy  son  may  do  for  thee."^ 

"  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs  of  Ancient  Egyptians, 
vol.  iii.,  cliap.  xvi. 

°  Papyrus  IV.,  Bulaq  Museum.  Translation  by  Messrs.  Brugsch  and  E. 
de  Rougfi.     Published  by  Mariette. 

Page  8. 

Plate  X. 


If  we  compare  this  with  the  precepts  of  the  "  Manava-Dharma- 
Sastra — "  The  ceremony  in  honor  of  the  manes  is  superior,  for 
the  Brahmins,  to  the  worship  of  the  gods,  and  the  offerings  to 
the  gods  that  take  place  before  the  offerings  to  the  manes  have 
been  declared  to  increase  their  merits"* — it  will  be  easy  to 
see  that  these  teachings  must  have  emanated  from  the  same 

This  most  ancient  custom  is  likewise  scrupulously  followed 
by  the  Chinese,  for  whom  the  worship  of  the  ancestors  is  as 
binding  and  sacred  as  that  of  God  himself,  whose  representatives 
they  have  been  for  their  children  while  on  earth.  Confucius 
in  his  book  "  Khoung-Tseu  "  dedicates  a  whole  chapter  to  the 
description  of  the  ceremony  in  honor  of  ancestors  as  practised 
twice  a  year,  in  spring  and  autumn,^  and  in  his  book  "  Lun-yu  " 
he  instructs  his  disciples  that  "it  is  necessary  to  sacrifice  to 
the  ancestors  as  if  they  were  present."  ^  The  worship  of  the 
ancestors  is  paramount  in  the  mind  of  the  Japanese.  On  the 
fifteenth  day  of  the  seventh  Japanese  month  a  festival  is  held 
in  honor  of  the  ancestors,  when  a  repast  of  fruit  and  vegeta- 
bles is  placed  before  the  If  ays,  or  wooden  tablets  of  peculiar 
shape,  on  which  are  written  inscriptions  commemorative  of  the 

Great  festivities  were  held  by  the  Peruvians  in  honor  of  the 
dead  in  the  month  of  Aya-marca,  a  word  which  means  literally 
"  carrying  the  corpses  in  arms."  These  festivities  were  estab- 
lished to  commemorate  deceased  friends  and  relations.  They 
were  celebrated  with  tears,  mournful  songs,  plaintive  music, 
and  by  visiting  the  tombs  of  the  dear  departed,  whose  provi- 

'  Manava-Dharma-Sastra,  lib.  iii.,  Sloka  203,  also  Slokas  137,  149,  207,, 
etc.,  et passim. 

'Confucius,  Khoung-Tseu,  TcJioung-Young,  chap.  xix. 
^  Ibid.,  Lun-yu,  cliap.  iii.,  Sloka  12. 


sion  of  corn  and  ehiclia  they  renewed  through  openings  arranged 
on  purpose  from  the  exterior  of  the  tomb  to  vessels  placed 
near  the  body.' 

Even  to-day  the  aborigines  of  Yucatan,  Peten,  and  other 
countries  in  Central  America  where  the  Maya  language  is 
spoken,  as  if  in  obedience  to  this  affirmation  of  the  Hindoo 
legislator — "  The  manes  accept  with  pleasure  that  Avhich  is 
offered  to  them  in  the  clearings  of  the  forests,  localities  natu- 
rally pure;  on  river  banks  and  in  secluded  places  "  ^ — are  wont, 
at  the  beginning  of  November,  to  hang  from  the  branches  of 
certain  trees  in  the  clearings  of  the  forests,  at  cross-roads,  in 
isolated  nooks,  cakes  made  of  the  best  corn  and  meat  they 
can  procure.  These  are  for  the  souls  of  the  departed  to  par- 
take of,  as  their  name  hanal  pixaii  ("  the  food  of  the  souls  ") 
clearly  indicates.' 

Does  not  this  custom  of  honoring  the  dead  exist  among  us 
to-day?  The  feast  of  "  All  Souls  "  is  celebrated  by  the  Cath- 
olic Church  on  the  second  day  of  November,  when,  as  at  the 
feast  of  the  Feralia,  observed  on  the  third  of  the  ides  (Febru- 
arjr  the  eleventh)  by  the  Romans,  and  so  beautifuUj'  described 
by  Ovid,^  people  visit  the  cemeteries,  carry  presents,   adorn 

'  Cliristoval  de  Molina,  7Yt«  Fables  and  Rites  of  ilie  Tncas.  Translation 
by  Clements  R.  Markham,  pp.  36-50. 

'  Manaua-Dharma-Sastra,  lib.  iii.,  Sloka  203. 

^  Cakes  were  likewise  offered  to  the  dead  in  Egypt,  India,  Peru,  etc. 
*  Est  lionor  et  tumulis  ;  animas  placare  paternas, 
Parvaque  in  extructas  munerafeiTe  pyras  : 
Pariia  petunt  manes :  pietas  pro  divite  grata  est 
Munere  ;  non  amdos  Styx  liahet  ima  Deos  ; 
Tegula  porrectis  satis  est  velata  coronis, 
Et  sparsw  fruges,  parvaque  mica  sails. 

Ovid,  Fast  1,  V.  533,  et  passim. 

Tombs  also  have  their  lionor;  our  parents  wish  for 
Some  small  present  to  adorn  their  grave. 

Page  11. 

Plate  XL 


with  jlowers,  wreaths,  and  garlands  of  evergreen  the  resting- 
place  of  those  who  have  been  dear  to  them — a  very  tender 
and  impressive  usage,  speaking  eloquently  of  the  most  affec- 
tionate human  sentiments. 

Mr.  ~R.  G.  Haliburton,  of  Boston,  Mass. ,  in  a  very  learned 
and  most  interesting  paper  '  on  the  "  Festival  of  Ancestors," 
or  the  feast  of  the  dead,  so  prevalent  among  all  nations  of  the 
earth,  speaking  of  the  singularity  of  its  being  observed  every- 
where at  precisely  the  same  epoch  of  the  year,  says:  "It  is 
now,  as  it  was  formerly,  observed  at  or  near  the  beginning  of 
November  by  the  Peruvians,  the  Hindoos,  the  Pacific  islanders, 
the  people  of  the  Tonga  Islands,  the  Australians,  the  ancient 
Persians,  the  ancient  Egyptians,  and  the  northern  nations  of 
Europe,  and  continued  for  three  days  among  the  Japanese,  the 
Hindoos,  the  Australians,  the  ancient  Eomans,  and  the  ancient 
Egyptians.  .  .  .  This  startling  fact  at  once  drew  my  atten- 
tion to  the  question,  How  was  this  uniformitj'^  in  the  time  of 
observance  preserved,  not  only  in  far  distant  quarters  of  the 
globe,  but  also  through  that  vast  lapse  of  time  since  the  Peru- 
vian and  the  Indo-European  first  inherited  this  primeval  festi- 
val from  a  common  source?  "     What  was  that  source? 

"When  contemplating  the  altar  at  the  entrance  of  Prince 
Coil's  funeral  chamber,  we  asked  ourselves.  Are  we  still  in 

That  small  present  we  owe  to  the  ghosts  ; 

Those  powers  do  not  look  at  what  we  give  them,  but  how; 

No  greedy  desires  prompt  the  Stygian  shades. 

Tliey  only  ask  a  tile  crowned  with  garlands, 

And  fruit  and  salt  to  scatter  on  the  ground. 

The  Romans  believed,  as  did  the  Hindoos  and  the  Mayas,  that  salt 
scattered  on  the  ground  was  a  strong  safeguard  against  evil  spirits. 

'  R.  G.  Haliburton,  "Festival  of  Ancestors,"  Ethnological  Researches 
Bearing  on  the  Year  of  the  Pleiades. 


America,  or  has  some  ancient  wizard,  by  magic  art,  suddenly 
transported  us  to  the  south  of  the  Asiatic  peninsula,  in  Cam- 
bodia, in  the  old  city  of  Angor-Thom?  There  also  we 
find  similar  altars,  figures  of  serpents,  and  the  bird-headed 

This  bird,  symbol  of  the  principal  female  divinity,  is  met 
with  in  every  country  where  Maya  civilization  can  be  traced 
— in  Polynesia,'  Japan,  India,  Chaldea,  Egypt,  Greece,  as  in 
Mayach  and  the  ancient  city  of  Tiahuanuco  on  the  high 
plateaus  of  the  Peruvian  Andes.     In  Egypt  the  vulture  formed 


the  headdress  of  the  Goddess  Isis,  or  Mau,  whose  vestments 
were  dyed  with  a  variety  of  colors  imitating  feather  work.* 
Everywhere  it  is  a  myth.     In  Mayach  only  we  may  perhaps 

'  When  Banks,  who  accompanied  Captain  Cook  iu  his  first  voyage,  vis- 
ited the  great  Morai  at  0-Taheite,  he  saw  on  the  summit  of  the  pyramid  a 
representation  of  a  bird,  carved  in  wood  (tlie  Creator).  John  Watson,  The 
Lost  Solar  System,  vol.  ii.,  p.  333. 

''  Sir  Gardner  WiUviuson,  Manners  and  Customs  of  Ancient  Egyptians,  vol. 
iii.,  p.  375, 

Plate  XII. 

Page  IS. 

Plate  XIII. 



find  the  origin  of  this  myth,  since  it  was  the  totem  of  Queen 
M<So,  whose  name  means  macaw ;  and  she  is  generally  pict- 
ured, in  the  sculptures  and  inscriptions,  by  the  figure  of 
that  beautiful  bird,  whose  plumage  is  composed  of  brilliant 
feathers  of  various  colors. 


'  Gardner  AVilkinsou,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xiii.,  p.  115. 


On  examining  the  adornments  of  the  atlantes  that  sup- 
ported the  altar,  we  could  not  help  exclaiming,  ' '  Why,  this  is 
Burmah ! ' '  And  so  it  is.  But  it  is  also  America.  Yes, 
ancient  America,  brought  back  to  light  after  slumbering  many 
ages  in  the  lap  of  Time,  to  show  the  people  of  the  nineteenth 
century  that,  long,  long  ago,  intimate  communications  existed 
between  the  inhabitants  of  the  Western  Continent  and  those  of 
Asia,  Africa,  and  Europe,  just  as  they  exist  to-da}^;  and  that 
ancient  American  civilization,  if  not  the  mother  of  that  of  his- 
torical nations  of  antiquity,  was  at  least  an  important  factor 
in  the  framing  of  their  cosmogonic  notions  and  primitive 

Of  that  fact  no  better  proof  can  be  obtained  than  by  com- 
paring the  symbols  of  the  universe  found  among  the  Mayas, 
the  Hindoos,  the  Chaldees,  and  the  Egyptians. 

The  simplest  is  that  of  the  Mayas.  It  seems  to  have  served 
as  model  for  the  others,  that  evidently  are  amplifications  of  it. 
We  find  it  many  times  repeated,  adorning  the  central  fillet  of 
the  upper  cornice  of  the  entablatures  of  the  eastern  and  west- 

Page  H. 

Plate  XIV. 

Page  14. 

Plate  XV. 







ern  fa§ades  of  King  Can's  palace  at  Uxmal.  This  edifice  was 
also  the  residence  of  the  pontiff. 

A  knowledge  of  antique  geometric  symbology  makes  it 
easy  to  understand  these  cosmic  diagrams.  In  the  centre  of 
the  figure  we  see  a  circle  inscribed  within  the  hexagon  formed 
by  the  sides  of  two  interlaced  equilateral  triangles. 

The  Egyptians  held  the  equilateral  triangle  as  the  symbol 
of  nature,  beautiful  and  fruitful.  In  their  hieroglyphs  it  meant 
"worship."  For  the  Christians  the  equilateral  triangle,  con- 
taining the  open  eye  of  Siva,  is  the  symbol  of  Deity.  The 
Hindoos  and  the  Chaldees  regarded  it  as  emblem  of  the  spirit 
of  the  universe.  Exoterically  this  central  circle  represents  the 
sun,  the  light  and  life-giver  of  the  physical  world,  evolved 
from  fire  and  water.  ^ 

It  is  well  known  that  among  the  ancient  occultists,  of  all 
nations,  the  triangle  Avith  the  apex  upward  symbolized  "  fire;  " 
that  with  the  apex  downward,  "  water. "  The  outer  circle  that 
circumscribes  the  triangles  is  the  horizon,  that  apparent  boun- 
dary of  the  material  world,  within  which,  in  his  daily  travels, 
the  sun  seems  to  be  tied  up.  Hence  the  name  Inti-huatana, 
"  sun's  halter,"  given  by  the  ancient  Peruvians  to  the  stone 
circles  so  profusely  scattered  over  the  high  plateaus  of  the 
Andes,  along  the  shores  of  Lake  Titicaca,^  in  India,  Arabia, 
northern  Africa,  northern  Europe,  where  they  are  known  as 
druidical  circles.  Their  use  is  still  a  matter  of  discussion  for 
European  antiquaries.  They  disdain  to  seek  in  America  for 
the  explanation  of  the  motives  that  prompted  their  erection 
and  that  of  many  other  constructions,  as  well  as  the  origin  of 

'  See  Appendix,  uotes  vii.  and  xx. 

'  George  E.  Squier,  Peni :  Incidents  of  Travels  and  Explorations  in  the 
Land  of  the  Incas,  chap,  xx.,  p.  384. 

Augustus  Le  Plongeon,  ^1  Sketch  of  the  Ancient  Inhabitants  of  Peru,  chap.  i. 

16  QUEEN  m60  and  THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

customs  and  traditions  that  continue  to  be  among  them  the 
themes  for  useless  controversies. 

The  twelve  scallops  which  surround  the  outer  circle  are  the 
twelve  houses  or  resting-places  of  the  sun ;  that  is,  the  twelve 
months  of  the  solar  year,  or  twelve  signs  of  the  zodiac.  As 
to  the  four  double  rays,  those  nearest  to  the  houses  of  the  sun 
typify  the  primordial  Four,  direct  emanations  from  the  central 
sun — the  four  Heavenly  Giants  who  helped  in  fashioning  the 
material  universe.  The  lower  ones  symbolize  the  four  primor- 
dial substances  known  to  modern  scientists  as  nitrogen,  oxygen, 
hydrogen,  and  carbon,  vs^hose  various  combinations  form  the 
four  primitive  elements — fire,  water,  air,  and  earth — into 
■which  these  can  again  be  resolved. 

In  the  Appendix  the  esoteric  explanation  of  the  diagram  is 
presented  as  it  was  given  by  the  Maya  sages  to  their  pupils  in 
the  secrecy  of  the  mysterious  recesses  of  their  temples.  It  cor- 
responds precisely  to  the  doctrine  of  the  cosmic  evolution  con- 
tained in  that  ancient  Sanscrit  book  of  "  Dzyan,"  which  forms 
the  groundwork  of  Madame  H.  P.  Blavatsky's  "The  Secret 
Doctrine." ' 

The  Maya  colonists  who  carried  their  conceptions  of  cosmic 

evolution  to  India,  fearing  lest  the  meaning  of  this  diagram, 

purposely  made  so  simple  by  the  wise  men  in  their  mother 

country,  should  not  be  suificiently  intelligible  to  the  new  ini- 

'  H.  P.  Blavatsky,  The  Secret  Doctrine,  vol.  i.,  pp.  27-35.  "Is  it  a  mere 
coincidence  that  the  name  Dzyan  of  the  archaic  Indian  MS.,  whose  trans- 
lation, %vith  commentaries,  Madame  Blavatsky  gave  to  the  world,  is  a  pure 
Maya  word  ?  To  write  it  according  to  the  accepted  manner  of  writing 
3Iaya,  we  must  replace  the  double  consonant  dz  by  its  equivalent  o.  We 
then  have  the  word  Qiau,  which  means  "to  be  swollen  by  fire."  In  the 
book  Dzyan,  stanza  iii.,  §  1,  we  read  ;  "  The  mother  swells,  artending  from 
within  without,  lil-o  the  hud  of  the  lotus  ;  "     .  .     and  §  0:  "  Light  is  cold 

flame,  and  flame  is  fire,  and  fire  produces  heat,  which  yields  water  ;  the  water 
of  life  in  the  great  mother. ^^     .     .     . 

Page  16. 

Plate  XVI. 

Page  17. 

Plate  XVII. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  17 

tiates  to  whom  they  communicated  it  in  the  land  of  their 
adoption,  amplified  it,  and  composed  the  "  Sri-San tara, "  mak- 
ing each  part  of  easy  comprehension. 

This,  at  first  sight,  may  appear  like  an  assertion  of  private 
opinion.  It  is  not,  however.  It  is  the  stating  of  an  histor- 
ical fact,  that  becomes  evident  when  we  study  said  "  Sri-San- 
tara,"  and  notice  that  the  names  of  its  different  parts,  from 
Aditi,  the  "boundless,"  to  Maya,  the  "earth,"  are  not  San- 
scrit, but  pure  American  Maya  words. 

Now,  if  the  Hindoo  priests,  the  Brahmins,  did  not  receive 
their  cosmogony  from  the  Mayas,  together  with  the  diagram 
by  which  they  symbolized  it,  how  did  it  happen  that  they 
adopted  precisely  the  same  geometrical  figures  as  the  Mayas 
to  typify  their  notions  of  the  creation  of  the  universe,  which 
Ave  are  told  they  borrowed  from  "  the  materialistic  religion  of 
the  non-Vedic  population;  "  '  and  that,  in  giving  names  to  the 
various  parts  of  said  figures,  they  made  use  of  vocables  not 
belonging  to  their  own  vernacular,  but  to  a  language  spoken 
b}'  the  inhabitants  of  a  country  distant  many  thousand  miles 
from  their  own,  and  separated  from  it  by  the  wastes  of  the 
ocean,  the  traversing  of  which  was  by  them,  as  it  is  by  their 
descendants,  regarded  as  a  defilement  ? 

We  must  not  lose  sight  of  the  fact  that  the  Danavas  and 
the  Nagas  were  peoples  who  did  not  belong  to  the  Aryan  stock, 
and  that  they  suffered  a  fierce  persecution  at  the  hands  of  the 
Brahmins  when  these  acquired  power.  ^ 

As  to  these,  their  origin  is  one  of  the  most  obscure  points 
in  the  annals  of  ancient  India;  they  are  barely  mentioned  in 
the  Vedic  hymns.    When,  in  remote  times,  the  Aryans  invaded 

'  J.  Talboys  Wheeler,  History  of  India,  vol.  iii.,  p.  56. 
=  Ibid. 


the  Punjab,  the  Brahmins  had  no  power  or  authority.  They 
were  merely  messengers  and  sacrificers.  No  food  so  pure  as 
that  cooked  by  a  Brahmin.'  Others  among  them,  having  a 
devout  turn  of  mind,  were  hermits  doing  penance,  immersed 
in  contemplation.  At  the  time  of  Alexander's  conquest  of 
northern  India,  many  lived  in  convents,  practising  occultism. 
They  were  called  gymnosophists  by  the  Greeks,  and  were  re- 
garded as  very  wise  men.'  But  it  must  be  remembered  that 
the  period  between  the  establishment  of  the  Vedic  settlements 
on  the  Saraswati  and  the  conquest  of  Hindostan  by  the  Aryans, 
when  they  had  become  the  leading  power,  probably  covers  an 
interval  of  thousands  of  years.' 

"  The  Aryans  appear  to  have  had  no  definite  idea  of  a  uni- 
verse of  being  or  of  the  creation  of  a  universe."  *  From  them, 
therefore,  the  Brahmins  could  not  have  borrowed  their  ac- 
count of  the  creation,  Avhich  differs  from  that  we  might  infer 
from  the  Vedic  hymns.  ^  Still  "  Manu  borrowed  some  of  the 
ideas  conveyed  in  his  account  of  the  creation  of  the  universe 
by  Brahma."  ^ 

From  whom  did  he  borrow  them  ? 

"  The  Brahmins  rarely  attempted  to  ignore  or  denounce  the 
traditions  of  any  new  people  with  whom  they  came  in  contact ; 
but  rather  they  converted  such  materials  into  vehicles  for  the 
promulgation  of  their  peculiar  tenets."  ' 

The  Nagds,  we  have  seen,  were  a  highljr  civilized  people, 

'J.  Talboys  Wheeler,  History  of  India,  vol.  ii.,  p.  640. 

"  Philostratus,  Life  of  Apollonius  of  Tyana,  lib.  ii.,  cliap.  15,  p.  242; 
lib.  iii.,  chap.  11,  p.  8.     Translation  of  Charles  Blount,  London,  1G80. 

'  .J.  Talboys  Wheeler,  History  of  India,  vol.  ii.,  p.  024. 

*  Ibid.,  p.  452.  Adolphe  Pictet,  Les  Origines  Indo-Europeennes,  vol. 
iii.,  p.  410. 

°  J.  T.  Wheeler,  History  of  India,  vol.  ii.,  p.  452. 

°  Ihid.,  p.  449.  '  Ibid.,  p.  450. 


Tvhose  rulers  held  sway  over  the  whole  of  Hindostan  when  the 
Aryans  established  their  first  colonies  on  the  banks  of  the 
Saraswati.  Later  on  we  shall  see  that  these  Ndgds  were  orig- 
inally Maya  adepts,  who  in  remote  ages  migrated  from  May- 
ach  to  Burmah,  whence  they  spread  their  doctrines  among 
the  civilized  nations  of  Asia  and  Africa.  How  else  explain  the 
use  of  the  American  Maya  language  by  the  Hindoos,  calling 
Maya  the  material  world?  (Ma,  "country;"  yacli,  the 
veretnim  of  the  ancestor,  through  which  all  living  earthly 
things  were  produced.) 

This  query  may  be  answered  by  another.  Why  do  we 
find  English  customs,  English  traditions,  English  language, 
in  America,  India,  Australia,  Africa,  and  a  thousand  and  one 
other  places  very  distant  from  each  other,  among  peoples  that 
do  not  even  know  of  each  other's  existence  ?  Why,  any  one 
will  say,  because  colonists  from  England  have  settled  in  those 
countries,  and  naturally  carried  there  the  customs,  traditions, 
language,  religion,  sciences,  and  civilization  of  the  mother 
country.  Why,  then,  not  admit  that  that  which  occurs  in  our 
day  has  taken  place  in  past  ages  ?  Is  not  man  the  same  in  all 
times  ?  Has  not  the  stronger  ahvays  imposed  his  ideas  on  the 
weaker  ?  If  in  the  struggle  toward  eternal  progress,  the  most 
civilized  has  not  always  been  physically  victorious,  history 
teaches  that  intellectually  he  has  obtained  the  victory  over  his 
conqueror  in  the  long  run;  proving,  what  has  so  many  times 
been  asserted,  that  mind  is  mightier  than  matter. 

Civilization  is  indeed  like  the  waves  of  the  sea;  one  wave 
follows  another.  Their  crests  are  not  of  equal  height.  Some 
are  higher;  some  are  lower.  Between  them  there  is  always  a 
trough  more  or  less  deep.  The  Avave  behind  inevitably  pushes 
that  immediately  before  it,  often  overwhelms  it. 


If  we  compare  the  "  Sri-Santara  "  with  the  cosmogonic  dia- 
gram of  the  Mayas,  it  does  not  require  a  great  effort  of 
imagination  to  perceive  that  it  is  an  amplification  of  the  latter. 
This  being  so,  let  us  see  what  may  b,e,  in  the  Maya  language, 
the  meaning  of  the  names  of  its  different  parts. 

The  use  of  the  Maya  throughout  these  pages,  to  explain 
the  meaning  of  names  of  deities,  nations,  and  localities  whose 
etymon  is  not  only  unknown  but  a  mystery  to  philologists, 
will  show  the  necessity  of  acquiring  this  most  ancient  form  of 
speech.  It  is  not  a  dead  language,  being  the  vernacular  of  well- 
nigh  two  millions  of  our  contemporaries.  Its  knowledge  will 
help  us  to  acquire  a  better  understanding  of  the  origin  of  the 
early  history  of  Egyptian  civilization,  of  that  of  the  Chaldeans, 
and  of  the  nations  of  Asia  Minor.  It  will  also  illumine  the 
darkness  that  surrounds  the  primitive  traditions  of  mankind. 
By  means  of  it,  we  will  read  the  ancient  Maya  books  and 
inscriptions,  reclaim  from  oblivion  part,  at  least,  of  the  ancient 
history  of  America,  and  thus  be  enabled  to  give  it  its  place  in 
the  universal  history  of  the  world.  We  shall  also  be  able  to 
comprehend  the  amount  of  knowledge,  scientific  and  historical, 
possessed  by  the  wise  men  who  wrote  on  stone  the  most  strik- 
ing events  in  the  life  of  their  nation,  their  religious  and  cos- 
mogonic conceptions.  Perhaps  when  the  few  books  written 
by  them  that  have  reached  us,  and  the  monumental  inscrip- 
tions still  extant,  have  been  thoroughly  deciphered,  many 
among  the  learned  will  have  to  alter  their  pet  opinions,  and 
confess  that  our  civilization  may  not  be  .the  highest  ever 
reached  by  man.  We  must  keep  in  mind  the  fact  that  we  are 
only  emerging  from  the  deep  and  dark  trough  that  had  existed 
between  the  Greek  and  Roman  civilizations  and  ours,  and  that 
we  are  as  yet  far  from  having  arrived  at  the  top  of  the  wave. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  21 

Before  proceeding,  I  may  remark  that  although  the  Mayas 
seem  to  have  penetrated  the  interior  of  Asia  as  far  as  Meso- 
potamia, and  to  have  dwelt  a  long  time  in  that  country  as  well 
as  in  Asia  Minor;  that  although,  from  remote  ages,  they  had 
sojourned  in  the  Dekkan  and  other  localities  in  the  south 
of  India;  that  although  the  Greek  language  was  composed  in 
great  part  of  Maya,  and  the  grammars  of  both  these  lan- 
guages were  well-nigh  identical ' — they  and  the  Aryans,  so  far 
as  shown  by  philology,  never  had  intercourse  with  each  other. 
After  a  thorough  study  of  Mr.  Adolphe  Pictet's  learned  work, 
"Les  Origines  Indo-Europeennes  ou  les  Aryas  Primitifs,"  and 
a  careful  examination  of  their  language  and  the  Greek  words 
derived  from  it,  either  directly,  or  indirectly  through  Sanscrit, 
then  comparing  these  with  the  Maya,  I  am  bound  to  confess 
that  I  have  been  unable  to  find  the  remotest  analogy  between 
them.  ISTo — not  one  word!  It  might  be  supposed  that  the 
name  of  the  most  abundant  and  necessary  fluid  for  living 
beings  would  be  somewhat  similar  in  languages  concurring  to 
form  a  third  one.  Not  so,  however.  The  erudite  Mr.  Pictet 
is  at  a  loss  as  to  the  origin  of  the  Greek  word,  thalassa,  for 
"  sea. "  ^  Had  he  been  acquainted  with  the  Maya  language,  he 
would  easily  have  found  it  in  the  word  tliallac,  that  means 
a  "thing  unstable;  "  hence  the  Greek  verb  tarasso — thrasso — 
"  to  agitate."  The  name  for  water  in  Maya  is  ha,  in  Egyp- 
tian and  Chaldean  a. 

What  are  we  to  argue  from  this  utter  want  of  relation  be- 
tween two  peoples  that  have  had  such  a  stupendous  influence 
on  the  civilization  of  Asiatic,  African,  and  European  popula- 

'  Brasseur,  Troano  MS.,  vol.  ii.,  edit.  1870.  Introduction  aux  elements  de 
la  langue  Maya,  from  p.  xxiv.  to  p.  xl. 

'  Adolphe  Pictet,  Les  Origines  Indo-Europeennes,  vol.  i.,  pp.  138-139. 


tions?  Shall  we  say  that  when  the  Mayas  colonized  the 
countries  at  the  south  of  Asia,  then  the  banks  of  the  Eu- 
phrates, then  the  valley  of  the  ]S"ile,  and  later  Asia  Minor,  it 
was  in  ages  so  remote  that  the  Aryans,  regarded  as  a  primitive 
people  living  at  the  dawn  of  history,  had  not  yet  multiplied 
to  such  numbers  as  to  make  it  imperative  for  them  to  abandon 
their  native  country  in  search  of  new  homes  ?  Shall  we  say 
that  the  Maya  colonies  much  antedated  the  migrations  of  the 
Aryan  tribes,  that,  abandoning  their  bactrian  homes  only 
about  three  thousand  years  before  the  Christian  era,'  went 
south  and  invaded  the  north  of  India;  whilst  others,  going 
west,  crossed  over  to  Europe  and  spread  over  that  continent  ? 
This  would  explain  the  use  of  Maya  instead  of  Sanscrit 
words  for  the  names  of  the  various  parts  of  the  ''  Sri-Santara;  " 
show  the  Maya  to  be  more  ancient  than  Sanscrit;  and  also 
account  for  the  grammatical  forms  common  to  both  the  Maya 
and  the  Greek,  that  the  ulterior  admixture  of  Aryan  words  to 
the  latter  was  unable  to  alter. 

We  must  premise  the  explanation  of  the  names  of  the  parts 
of  the  "  Sri-Santara  "  by  stating  that  the  letters  D,  F,  G,  J,  Q, 
and  Fare  not  used  in  the  Maya  language.^ 

From  remote  ages  the  Brahmins  taught  that  in  the  begin- 
ning existed  the  Infinite.  This  they  called  Aditi,  "that 
which  is  above  all  things."  It  is  precisely  the  meaning  of  the 
Maya  words  A  titicli — com])osed  of  Ah,  masculine  article, 
the  "strong,"  the  "powerful;  "  and  titicli,  "that  which  is 
above  all  things."^  A-titicli  or  A-diti  would  then  be  the 
"powerful  superior  to  all  things,"  the  "  Infinite. "     In  this 

'  A.  Pictet,  Zcs  Origines  Indo- Europeenitea,  vol.  iii.,  pp.  508-515. 
"  Beltran   de   Santa  Rosa,  Arte  del  Idioma  Maya.     Gabriel  de  Sauta 
Buenaventura,  Elemento.i  de  la  Lingua  Maya. 
^  Pio  Perez,  Bfaya  dictionary. 

Plate  XVIII. 




infinite  dwelt  Aum,  whose  name  must  precede  all  prayers,  all 
invocations. '  Manu  says  that  the  monosyllable  means  ' '  earth, ' ' 
' '  sky, ' '  and  ' '  heaven. ' '  ^ 

J.  Talboys  Wheeler  says:'  "As  regards  the  three  letters 
A,  U,  M,  little  can  be  gathered  excepting  that,  when  brought 
together  in  the  word  Aum  they  are  said  by  Manu  to  form  a 
symbol  of  the  Lord  of  created  beings,  Brahma."  Colebrooke 
says:  "According,  however,  to  the  Nirukta,  which  is  an 
ancient  glossary  of  the  Yedas.,  the  syllable  Aum  refers  to  every 
deity.  The  Brahmins  may  reserve  for  their  initiates  an  esoteric 
meaning  more  ample  than  that  given  by  Manu."  But  by 
means  of  the  Maya  language  we  learn  its  full  significance. 

A-U-M : 
A — for  Ah,  masculine  article:   the   fecundating  power;    the 

TJ — feminine  pronoun:    the  basin;  the  generative  power;  the 

M — Melieii:  the  engendered;  the  son;  or.  Ma,  yes  and  no; 
the  androgynus. 

Any  way  we  combine  the  three  letters  of  the  sacred  mono- 
syllable— in  the  Maya  language — they  give  us  the  names  and 
attributes  of  each  person  of  the  Trimourti. 

For  instance:  Au-M — thy  maker. 

A-U-M — thy  mother's  son. 

U- A-M  —I  am  the  male  creator. 

M-U-A — the  maker  of  these  waters. 

We  read  in  the  first  chapter  of  the  ordinances  of  Manu,* 

that  the  Supreme  Being  produced  first  the  waters,  and  in  them 

'  Manava-Dliarma-Sastra,  book  ii.,  Sloka  74. 
=  lUd.,  76-77. 

^  J.  T.  Wheeler,  History  of  India,  vol.  ii.,  p.  481. 
*  Manava-Bharma-Sastra,  book  i.,  Sloka  8. 


deposited  a  germ,  an  egg,  in  which  He  himself  was  born  again 
under  the  shape  of  Brahma,  the  great  ancestor  of  all  beings. 
This  egg,  this  golden  uterus,  is  called  Hiramyaga/rbha.^  This 
word  is  composed  of  the  following  four  Maya  vocables, 
hilaan,  yam,  kalba,  ha,  expressing  the  idea  of  something 
floating  in  the  water:  hilaan,  "to  be  dragged;"  yam, 
"  midst;  "  kalba,  "  enclosed;  "  ha,  "  water." 

In  it  was  born  Brahma,  the  Creator,  the  origin  of  all 
beings,  "he  who  was  submerged  in  the  waters."  So  reads 
his  name,  according  to  the  Maya — Be-lam-ha  :  Be,  "  the 
way;"  lam,  "submerged;"  ha,  "water." 

The  waters  were  called  Nara,  says  Manu,^  because  they 
were  the  production  of  Nara  the  divine  spirit,  ' '  the  mother 
of  truth:  "  Naa,  "mother;  "  La,  "  eternal  truth,"  that  con- 
tained the  hidden  voice  of  the  mantras.  The  verb  Yach, 
Uach  (Maya),  "a  thing  free  from  fetters,"  the  divine  male; 
the  first  embodied  spirit  Viradj,  Uilal  (Maya),  "  that  which  is 
necessary,"  whose  union  with  Maya  produced  all  things. 

Again  we  may  ask,  Is  the  use  of  Maya  words  in  this 
instance  without  significance?  Does  the  similaritj'  of  the 
ancient  Indian  architecture  to  that  of  the  Mayas — which  so 
puzzled  the  learned  English  architect,  the  late  James  Fergus- 
son — or  the  use  of  the  Maya  triangular  arch,  and  no  other, 
in  all  sacred  buildings  in  India,  prove  nothing?  And  the 
practice  of  stamping  the  hand,  dipped  in  red  pigment,  on  the 
walls  of  temples  and  palaces,  as  a  way  of  invoking  the  benison 
of  the  gods,  or  of  asserting  OAvnership  to  the  building,  as  with 
a  seal,  being  common  both  in  Mayach  and  India;  or  the  cus- 
tom of  carrying  children  astride  on  the  hip,  which  was  never 

'11.  T.  Colebrooke,  Notice  on  tlie  Vedas,  lib.  ii.,  §  vi. 
"  Ma!iaea-D!iarm.a-Sastra,  book  i.,  Sloka  10. 


done  by  the  Mayas  without  first  performing  a  very  interest- 
ing ceremony  called  Heomek ;  *  or  the  prevalence  of  the  tree 
and  serpent  worship,  or  that  of  the  cross  and  the  elephant, 
among  the  Mayas  as  among  the  Hindoos — is  all  this  without 
meaning  ? 

In  another  work'^  I  have  shown  how  the  worship  of  the  tree 
originated  in  Mayach,  and  why  it  was  always  allied  to  that  of 
the  serpent  and  of  the  monarch.  But  no  antiquary  has  ever 
been  able  to  trace  the  origin  of  these  cults  either  to  Egypt, 
Chaldea,  or  India,  although  it  is  weU  known  they  existed  in 
those  countries  from  remote  ages. 

The  object  of  these  pages  is  not  to  give  here  all  the  proofs 
that  can  be  adduced  of  the  presence  of  the  Mayas  in  India,  and 
of  the  influence  of  their  civilization  on  its  inhabitants ;  but  to 
follow  their  traxjks  along  the  shores  of  the  Indian  Ocean,  into 
the  interior  of  Asia,  across  Asia  Minor  where  they  established 
colonies,  on  to  Africa,  until  finally  they  reached  the  valley  of 
the  Mle,  and  laid  the  foundation  of  the  renowned  Egyptian 
kingdom,  some  six  thousand  years  before  the  reign  of  Menes, 
the  first  terrestrial  Egyptian  king.' 

'  Alice  D.  Le  Plongeon,  Harper's  Magazine,  vol.  xx.,  p.  385. 
"^  Augustus  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  109,  et  passim. 
'  Bunsen,  Egypt's  Place  Ml  Universal  History,  vol.  iii.,  p.  15. 


Continuing  the  examination  of  the  cosmogonic  diagrams  of 
ancient  historic  Asiatic  nations,  we  find,  next  in  importance, 
the  "  Ensoph  "  of  the  Chaldees.  It  can  be  seen  at  a  glance 
that  this  also  is  an  amplification  of  the  Maya  symbol  of  the 
universe,  as  yet  existing  atUxmal,  as  well  as  of  the  "  Sri-San- 
tara ' '  of  the  Hindoos. 

It  may  be  asked,  How  came  the  Chaldees  to  adopt  the 
same  geometrical  figures  used  by  the  Mayas  to  symbolize  their 
cosmogonic  conceptions  ? 

Berosus,  the  Chaldean  historian,  tells  us  that  civilization 
was  brought  to  Mesopotamia  by  Cannes  and  six  other  beings, 
half  man,  half  fish,  who  came  from  the  Persian  Gulf;  in  other 
words,  by  men  who  dwelt  in  boats,  which  is  precisely  tlie 
meaning  of  the  vocable  "  Cannes,"  or  Hoa-ana  in  tlie  Maya 
language  (ha,  "water;"  a,  "thy;"  iia,  "house,"  "resi- 
dence"— "he  who  has  his  residence  on  the  water").  Sir 
Henry  Eawlinson,  speaking  of  the  advent  of  the  earlj'^  Chal- 
deans in  Mesopotamia,  says  :'  "  With  this  race  originated  the 

'  Sii'  Henry  RiixvUdsou,  note  to  Herodotus,  lib.  i.,  181,  in  George  Rawl- 
inson's  Ikraitoti/s,  vol.  i.,  p.  319. 

Plate  XIX. 

Tl  KKU  N 
MaitL  Tested   [qooiJ 


art  of  writing,  the  building  of  cities,  the  institution  of  a  reli- 
gious system,  the  cultivation  of  all  sciences  and  of  astronomy 
in  particular." 

If  philology,  like  architecture,  may  serve  as  guide  in  fol- 
lowing the  footsteps  of  a  people  in  its  migrations  on  the  face 
of  the  earth,  then  we  may  safely  affirm  that  the  Mayas,  at 
some  epoch  or  other,  travelling  along  the  shores  of  the  Indian 
Ocean,  reached  the  mouth  of  the  Indus,  and  colonized  Beloo- 
chistan  and  the  countries  west  of  that  river  to  Afghanistan; 
where,  to  this  day,  Maya  tribes  live  on  the  north  banks  of  the 
Kah%iZ  River.  ^ 

The  names  of  the  majority  of  the  cities  and  localities  in 
that  country  are  words  having  a  natural  meaning  in  tlie  Maya 
language;  they  are,  in  fact,  those  of  ancient  cities  and  villages 
whose  ruins  cover  the  soil  of  Yucatan,  and  of  several  still 

I  have  made  a  careful  collation  of  the  names  of  these  cities 
and  places  in  Asia,  with  their  meaning  in  the  Maya  language. 
In  this  work  my  esteemed  friend  the  Rt.  Eev.  Dr.  Dn.  Crecen- 
cio  Carillo  y  Ancona,  the  present  bishop  of  Yucatan,  has  kindly 
helped  me,  as  in  many  other  studies  of  Maya  roots  and  words 
now  obsolete ;  the  objects  to  which  they  applied  having  ceased 
to  exist  or  having  fallen  into  disuse.  ^  Bishop  Carillo  is  a  liter- 
ary gentleman  of  well-known  ability,  the  author  of  an  ancient 
history  of  Yucatan,  a  scholar  well  versed  in  the  language  of 
his  forefathers.     He  is  of  Maya  descent. 

Following  the  Mayas  in  their  journeys  westward,  along 
the  seacoasts,  we  next  find  traces  of  them  at  the  head  of  the 

'  London  Times,  weekly  edition,  March  4,  1879,  p.  G,  col.  4. 
=  This  list  is  given   in  full  in   my  large    work,    yet  unpublished,  The 
Monuments  of  Mayach  and  their  Hixtoriad  Teachings. 


Persian  Gulf,  where  they  formed  settlements  in  the  marshy 
country  at  the  mouth  of  the  Euphrates,  known  to  history 
under  the  name  of  Aklcad. 

The  meaning  of  that  name,  given  to  the  plains  and  marshy 
lands  situated  to  the  south  of  Babylonia,  has  been,  until  of 
late,  a  puzzle  to  students  of  Assyriology;  and  it  still  is  an 
enigma  to  them  why  a  country  utterly  devoid  of  mountains 
should  have  been  called  Akkad.  Have  not  the  weU-known 
scholars,  the  late  George  Smith  of  Chaldean  Genesis  fame, 
Eev.  Prof.  A.  H.  Sayce  of  Oxford  in  England,  and  Mr. 
Francois  Lenormant  in  France,  discovered,  by  translating  one 
of  the  bilingual  lexicographical  tablets  found  in  the  royal 
library  of  the  palace  of  King  Asurbanipal  in  Mneveh,  that 
in  Akkadian  language  it  meant  "  mountain,"  "high  country," 
whilst  the  word  for  "  low  country,"  "  plain,"  was  Smner  ;  and 
that,  by  a  singular  antithesis,  the  Sumerians  inhabited  the 
mountains  to  the  eastward  of  Babylonia,  and  the  Akkadians 
the  plains  watered  by  the  Tigris  and  the  Euphrates  and  the 
marshes  at  the  mouth  of  this  river  ? 

The  way  they  try  to  explain  such  strange  anomaly  is  by 
supposing  that,  in  very  remote  times,  the  AMacU  dwelt  in  the 
mountains,  and  the  Sumeri  in  the  plains;  and  that  at  some 
unknown,  unrecorded  period,  and  for  some  unknown  reason, 
these  nations  must  have  migrated  en  masse,  exchanging  their 
abodes,  but  still  preserving  the  names  by  which  they  were 
known,  regardless  of  the  fact  that  said  names  were  at  variance 
with  the  character  of  the  localities  in  which  they  now  dwelt ; 
but  they  did  it  both  from  custom  and  tradition.^ 

Shall  we  say,  "  Si  non  e  vero  e  hen  trovato,^^  although  this 
may  or  may  not  be  the  case,  there  being  no  record  that  said 
'  Pran(;ois  Lenormaut,  Chaldean  Magic  and  Sorcery,  p.  399. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  29 

permutation  ever  took  place,  and  it  therefore  cannot  be 

The  Maya,  of  which  we  find  so  many  yestiges  in  the 
Akkadian  language,  afifords  a  most  natural,  thence  rational, 
etymology  of  the  name  Ahhad,  and  in  perfect  accordance  with 
the  character  of  the  country  thus  named.  Akal  is  a  Maya 
word,  the  meaning  of  which  is  "  pond,"  ^  " marshy  ground;  " 
and  akil  is  a  marshy  ground  fuU  of  reeds  and  rushes,  such  as 
was  and  still  is  lower  Mesopotamia  and  the  localities  near  the 
mouth  of  the  Euphrates. 

As  to  the  name  -Sumer,  its  etymology,  although  it  is  also 
very  clear  according  to  the  Maya,  seemed  perplexing  to  the 
learned  Mr.  Lenormant,  who  nevertheless  has  interpreted  it 
correctly,  "  the  low  country. "  The  Akkadian  root  sum  evi- 
dently corresponds  to  the  Greek  kvixISo';^  "  bottom,"  "depres- 
sion," and  to  the  Maya,  koin,  a  valley.  The  Sumeri  would 
then  be  the  inhabitants  of  the  valleys,  while  the  Akkari  would 
be  those  of  the  marshes. 

From  this  and  from  what  win  directly  appear  let  it  not  be 
supposed  that  the  ancient  Alckadian  and  ancient  Maya  are 
cognate  languages.  The  great  number  of  Maya  words  found 
in  the  Akkadian  have  been  ingrafted  on  it  by  the  Maya  colo- 
nists, who  in  remote  times  established  themselves  in  Akkad, 
and  became  prominent,  after  a  long  sojourn  in  the  country, 
under  the  name  of  Kaldi. 

Through  the  efforts  of  such  eminent  scholars  as  Dr.  Hincks, 
Sir  Henry  Eawlinson,  Dr.  Oppert,  Monsieur  Grivel,  Professor 
Sayce,  Mr.  Frangois  Lenormant,  and  others,  the  old  Akkadian 
tongue,  or  much  of  it,  has  been  recovered,  by  translating  the 

'  Sir  Henry  Layard  {Mneneli  and  Babylon,  p.  356)  says  that  the  ancient 
name  of  the  Mediterranean  was  Akkari. 



tablets  that  composed  King  Asurbanipal's  library.  Mr.  Le- 
normant  has  published  an  elementary  grammar  and  vocabulary 
of  it.  From  this  I  cull  the  few  following  words  that  are  pure 
Maya,  with  the  same  signification  in  both  languages.  Having^ 
but  a  limited  space  to  devote  here  to  so  interesting  a  subject, 
in  my  selection  I  have  confined  myself  to  words  so  unequivo- 
cally similar  that  their  identity  cannot  be  questioned. 


A,     • 




Water.     A  is  also  tlie  Egyptian  for  water. 






Father,  par  excellence;  ancestor. 



Companion ;  also  Pal. 






Before ;  that  which  is  in  front ;  gat,  hand. 



Hand ;  arm ;  branch  of  a  tree. 


A  particle  that,  in  composition,  indicates  that 
the  action  of  the  verb  takes  place  quickly. 



That  which  is  below. 



Radical  of  Kernel,  to  descend  softly;  with- 
out noise. 



To  complete;  to  finish. 



Abundant;  exceeding. 


Fire ;  to  burn ;  hence  to  destroy,  to  finish,  etc. 



The  world ;  the  countries. 



Tlie  world ;  the  universe. 









Inside  of  the  earth ;  under. 



Upside  down ;  the  inverse  side. 



The  inhabitable  earth. 



The  nations;  the  ancestors. 



The  seed  of  animals. 



Tlie  seat;  the  rump;  also  to  worship,  as  itt 



The  tail. 



MuUeris  pudenda. 






Day;  sun. 








To  place  in  safety. 



Sign  of  possession ;  to  take. 



To  take  away;  to  empty. 



Expresses  the  idea  of  locality;  the  earth. 



The  earth;  the  country.  Ma  is  likewise 
Egyptian  for  country ;  place. 



Expresses  the  idea  of  an  internal  or  external 
locative — into ;  from ;  from  within ;  as 
tan ;  Ma  ta,  country. 



Place;  smooth  and  level  ground. 


Toward ;  in  the  centre ;  before ;  near. 



To  bear  toward. 



Place;  neighborhood;  place  where  one  stands. 



Prefixed  to  verbs,  nouns,  or  adjectives,  is  the 
sign  of  negation. 



Prefixed  to  verbs,  nouns,  or  adjectives,  is  the 
sign  of  negation.  Ma  uolel  Iianal  ("I 
don't  wish  to  eat ").     So  also  it  is  in  Greek. 



To  be. 



1  am. 














San,  Sana, 




Four ;  also  serpent. 

'  Mr.  Lenormant,  Chaldean  Magic  and  Sorcery,  p.  300,  in  a  foot-note  re- 
marks :  "I  do  not  give  the  name  of  number  'four'  in  this  table,  because 
in  the  Akkadian  it  seems  quite  distinct."  The  Akkadian  word  San  is  (in 
Maya)  can.  See  farther  on  for  the  various  meanings  and  the  power  of 
that  word,  which  among  the  Mayas  was  the  title  of  the  dynasty  of  their 
kings.  It  meant  "serpent."  Mr.  Lenormant  (p.  232)  says  that  "the  serpent 
with  seven  heads  was  invoked  by  the  Akkadians."  Was  this  seven-headed 
serpent  the  Ali-ac-chapat,  totem  of  the  seven  members  of  the  family  of 
King  Canchi  of  Mayacli,  that  no  doubt  the  Ndgds  worshipped  at  Angor- 
Tliom  in  Cambodia  ?  (See  Le  Plongeou,  Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  145.)  Sir 
George  Rawlinson  {The  Five  Great  Monarchies,  vol.  i.,  p.  122)  says,  "The 
Accadians  made  the  serpent  one  of  the  principal  attributes,  and  one  of  the 
forms  of  Hea." 








Light;  brilliancy. 



To  place ;  to  add. 



To  tie;  to  join;  to  unite. 


Xa  or  Xana, 







To  cut. 



To  cut  with  an  axe. 






Word.     CiMl,  to  speak. 



The  moon. 



The  moon. 



The  moon. 



Sun  struck ;  lighted  by  the  sun. 

Modern  Assyriologists,  after  translating  the  tablets  on 
Assyrian  and  Chaldean  magic,  written  in  the  Akkadian  lan- 
guage, agree  with  the  prophetical  books  of  Scripture  in  the 
opinion  that  the  Chaldees  descended  from  the  primitive  Akka- 
dians, and  that  those  people  spoke  a  language  differing  from 
the  Semitic  tongues.  A  writer  in  the  British  and  Foreign 
Review  says:'  "Babylonia  was  inhabited  at  an  early  period 
by  a  race  of  people  entirely  different  from  the  Semitic  popula- 
tion known  in  historic  times.  This  people  had  an  abundant 
literature,  and  they  were  the  inventors  of  a  system  of  writing 
which  was  at  first  hieroglyphic.  ...  Of  the  people  who 
invented  this  system  of  writing  very  little  is  kno^vn  with  cer- 
tainty, and  even  the  name  is  a  matter  of  doubt." 

According  to  Berosus,  who  was  a  Chaldean  priest,  these 
first  inhabitants  of  Babylonia,  whose  early  abode  was  in  Chal- 
dea,  were  foreigners  of  another  race  {aWo^BviU^}  He  care- 
fully establishes  a  distinction  between  them  and  the  Assyrians. 

'  British  and  Foreign  Review,  No.  103,  January,  1870,  vol.  ii.,  p.  305. 
'  Berosus,  Fragments,  J§  5,  G,  11. 


Those  primitive  Alckadians,  those  strangers  in  Mesopotamia, 
the  aborigines  would  naturally  have  regarded  as  guests  in  the 
country.  Taking  a  hint  from  this  idea,  they  called  their  first 
settlement  ula  or  ul,  a  Maya  word  meaning  "  guests  newly 
arrived."  In  this  settlement  in  the  marshy  ground,  lest  the 
natives  or  the  wild  beasts  that  swarmed  in  the  reeds  should 
attack  them,  the  strangers  surrounded  their  dwellings  with 
palisades,  and  designated  the  place  as  Kal-ti,  whence  Kaldi 
by  which  their  tribe  continued  to  be  known  even  when  they 
became  influential.  The  word  kalti  is  composed  of  two 
Maya  primitives — kal,  "to  be  enclosed  with  posts,"  and  ti, 
"  place." 

In  my  work  "  The  Monuments  of  Mayach  and  their  Histor- 
ical Teachings,"  I  have  traced  step  by  step  the  journey  of  the 
Maya  colonists,  along  the  course  of  the  Euphrates,  to  the 
"City  of  the  Sun,"  Babylon,  called  in  Akkadian,  according 
to  Mr.  Lenormant,'  Kd-Dingira  or  Tin-tir,  the  et3Tnology  of 
which  appears  to  be  unlcnown  to  him,  though  very  easily  found 
by  means  of  the  Maya.  The  name  Kd-Dingira  seems  to  be 
composed  of  four  Maya  primitives — Cah,  "city;"  Tin,  a 
particle  which  in  composition  indicates  the  place  where  one  is 
or  an  action  happens;  Kin,  "priest;  "  La,  "eternal  truth," 
the  god,  the  sun.  Cah-Tin-kin-la,  or  be  it  Kd-Bingira,  is 
"  the  city  where  reside  the  priests  of  the  sun." 

The  name  Thv-tir,  Maya  Tin-til,  means  Tin,  "the  place 
where  a  thing  actually  exists;  "  Tiliz,  by  elision  til,  "  sacred," 
' '  mysterious, "  "  venerable. ' '  Tin-til  would  therefore  be  "  the 
holy,  the  mysterious  place, ' '  a  very  appropriate  title  for  a  sacred 
city.  Til  may,  again,  be  the  radical  of  Tilil,  which  means 
"  property. "  Tin-til  would  in  this  case  signify  "  this  place  is 
'  Lenormant,  Chaldean  Magic  and  Sorcery,  pp.  193   353. 


my  property ;  it  belongs  to  me,  the  god,  the  sun, ' '  which  is  in 
perfect  accordance  with  this  other  ethnic  name  of  Babylon, 
Ka-Ea,  or  be  it  Cali-La,  "  the  city  of  eternal  truth,"  of  "  the 

The  name  given  to  the  temple  of  the  "seven  lights  of 
heaven,"  as  well  as  its  mode  of  construction,  shows  that  the 
builders  were  colonists  from  a  country  where  that  kind  of  edi- 
fice— the  pyramid  of  stone — was  not  only  common,  but  had  so 
been  from  remote  ages. 

Babel  is  a  word  whose  etymon  has  been  a  bone  of  conten- 
tion for  Orientalists  and  philologists.  They  are  not  yet  agreed 
as  to  its  meaning,  simply  because  they  do  not  know  to  what 
language  it  belongs  nor  whence  came  the  people  who  raised  the 
monument.  We  are  told  they  were  strangers  in  the  plains  of 
Shinar.  Did  they  come  originally  from  Mayacli  ?  They 
spoke  the  vernacular  of  that  country  far  off  beyond  the  sea 
toward  the  rising  sun,  and  Genesis  asserts  that  they  had 
journeyed  from  the  east.' 

Ba,  in  Maya,  has  various  meanings;  the  principal,  how- 
ever, is  "father,"  "ancestor." 

Bel  has  also  several  significations.  Among  these  it  stands 
for  "way,"  "custom." 

Ba-bel  would  therefore  indicate  that  the  sacred  edifice  was 
constructed  according  to  the  way,  the  custom,  of  the  builders' 

Landa,  in  his  work  "Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,"  informs  us 
that  the  Mayas  were  very  fond  of  giving  nicknames  to  all 
persons  prominent  among  them.  The  same  fondness  exists  to- 
day among  their  descendants,  who  seldom  speak  of  their  supe- 
riors by  their  name,  but  a  sobriquet  descriptive  of  some  marked 
'  Genesis,  cliiiii.  xi.,  vcvsc  3. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  35 

characteristic  observed  by  them  and  belonging  to  the  individ- 
ual. For  instance,  should  anybody  inquire  concerning  me,  by 
my  proper  name,  of  the  men  who  for  months  accompanied 
me  in  my  expeditions  in  the  ruined  cities  of  Yucatan,  they 
certainly  would  shake  their  heads  and  answer,  "Don't  know 
him."  But  if  asked  about  the  Ahmeexnal,  "he  of  the 
long  beard,"  then  they  would  at  once  understand  who  was 
meant.  1 

This  same  custom  seems  to  have  prevailed  among  the  prim- 
itive Akkadians,  judging  from  the  names  of  their  first  kings, 
the  builders  of  the  cities  along  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates, 
whose  seals  are  stamped  on  the  bricks  used  in  the  foundations 
of  the  edifices  erected  by  them. 

Urukh,  we  are  told,  is  one  of  them  ;  Likhdbi  is  another 
frequently  met  with. 

It  is  well  known  that  no  stones  are  to  be  found  on  the  allu- 
vial plains  of  Mesopotamia,  that  consequently  the  first  cities 
were  built  of  mud;  that  is,  of  sun-dried  bricks — adobes.  It  is 
probably  from  that  fact  that  they  called  the  king  who  ordered 
them  to  be  built  Unikh,  ' '  he  who  makes  everything  from  mud. ' ' 

'  It  always  was,  and  it  is  to-day,  a  characteristic  of  the  Mayas  to  give 
surnames  to  tliose  whom  they  regard  as  tlieir  superiors.  Cogolludo  speaks 
of  that  peculiarity,  and  mentions  their  great  witticism  in  tlius  giving  nick- 
names, so  that  those  to  whom  they  were  given  could  not  take  offence,  even 
when  they  knew  they  were  derided.  An  instance  of  this  kind  comes  to  niy 
mind.  Nalcuk-Pcch,  a  native  nobleman  who  wrote  a  narrative  of  the 
conquest  of  Yucatan  by  the  Spaniards,  in  the  Maya  language,  represents 
them  as  addicted  to  drunkenness  and  to  all  sorts  of  debauchery  ;  yet  calls 
them  Kul-uiiilcob,  the  holy  men,  who  earae  to  preach  a  "holy  religion." 
But  that  nickname  has  asecoud  meaning.  Kul,  it  is  true,  means  holy.  Pro- 
nouncing the  k  softly,  wliich  a  foreigner  unaccustomed  to  the  Maya  pro- 
nunciation invariably  does,  it  sounds  Clll,  which  means  a  "  cup,"  n  "  gob- 
let," a  "chalice,"  just  as  the  Greek  uvXe.  Therefore,  cul-uiiiicob  means 
"  men  addicted  to  the  cup" — drunkards. 


TJruTch  is  a  word  composed  of  two  Maya  primitives — huk, 
"to  make  everything,"  and  luk,  "  mud."  In  composition 
Huk-luk  would  become  contracted  into  Huluk,  hence 

This  is  also  said  to  have  been  the  name  of  the  city  of 
Erech,  the  seat  of  a  famous  Akkadian  ecclesiastical  college.* 
This,  however,  does  not  alter  the  meaning  of  the  Maya 
etymology  of  the  word,  nor  make  it  less  appropriate,  since  the 
town  was  built  of  bricks  dried  in  the  sun — of  mud,  conse- 

As  to  the  name  of  King  Likbahi  ^  it  is  also  composed  of  two 
Maya  primitives — lik,  "to  transport,"  and  bab,  "to  row." 
It  is  extremely  probable  that  when  constructing  the  temples 
in  whose  foundations  his  name  has  been  found,  as  there  were 
no  roads  for  transporting  easily  by  land  his  building  materials, 
he  made  use  of  the  most  convenient  waterway  offered  by  the 
Euphrates.  Hence  his  sobriquet,  Zikhahi,  "he  who  transports 
aU  things  by  water,"  that  is,  "bj^  rowing." 

In  the  language  of  Akkad  were  preserved  all  the  scien- 
tific treatises  of  the  Babylonians.  But  from  the  time  when 
the  Semitic  tribes  established  themselves  in  Assyria,  in  or 
about  the  thirteenth  century  b.c,  the  Akkadian  language 
began  to  fall  into  disuse.  It  was  soon  forgotten  by  the  gener- 
ality of  the  inhabitants.  Its  knowledge  became  the  exclusive 
privilege  of  the  priests,  who  were  the  depositaries  of  aU  learn- 
ing. When  the  Semitic  conquerors  imposed  their  own  dialect 
on  the  vanquished,  the  ancient  tongue  of  Akkad  remained, 
according  to  Sir  Henry  Eawlinson,'  the  language  of  science  in 

'  F.  Lcnormant,  Chaldean  Magic  and  Sorcery,  pp.  13,  323. 

"  lUd.,  pp.  318-331. 

'  Apud  George  Rawlinson,  Herodotus,  vol.  i.,  p.  319. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  37 

the  East,  as  Latin  was  in  the  "West  during  the  middle  ages.  In 
the  seventh  century  b.c,  Asurbanipal,  king  of  Assyria,  tried 
to  revive  it.  He  ordered  copies  of  the  old  treatises  in  the 
Akkadian  language  to  be  made,  and  also  an  Assyrian  translation 
to  be  placed  beside  the  text.  It  is  those  copies  that  have  reached 
our  times,  conveying  to  us  the  knowledge  of  this  ancient  form 
of  speech,  that  but  few  among  the  learned  men  of  Babylon  had 
preserved  at  the  time  of  the  fall  of  the  Babylonian  Empire, 
when  Darius  took  possession  of  the  city  of  Belus.'  We  are 
informed  by  the  Book  of  Daniel  that  none  of  the  king's  wise 
men  could  read  the  fatidical  words,  written  by  a  spirit's  hand  ■ 
on  the  wall  of  the  banquet  hall  of  King  Belshazzar.  Only 
one,  Daniel  the  prophet,  who  was  learned  in  all  the  lore  of 
ancient  Chaldeans,  could  interpret  them.^  Dr.  Isaac  of  New 
York,  and  other  learned  rabbins,  assert  that  these  words  were 
Chaldaic.  But  they  Avere,  and  still  are,  vocables  pertaining  to 
the  American  Maya  language,  having  precisely  the  same 
meaning  as  given  them  by  Daniel.^  The  Maya  words 
Maiiel,  mane,  tec,  uppali,  read  in  English: 

Manel,  "  Thou  art  past,"  in  the  sense  of  finished. 

Mane,  "  Thou  art  bought,"  hence  "  weighed  "  (all  things 
being  bought  and  sold  by  weight). 

Tec,  "light,"  "not  ponderous."     The  word  is  taken  to- 
day in  the  sense  of  "  swift,"  "  agile." 

Uppah,  "Thou  wilt  be  broken  in  two."     To  that  word 

are  allied  jiaa  and  paaxal,  "to  break  in  two,"  "to  break 

asunder,"  "  to  scatter  the  inhabitants  of  a  place."  ^ 

'  Herodotus,  lib.  iii.,  151,  158. 
°  Book  of  Daniel,  chap,  i.,  verse  17. 
^  Ibid.,  chap,  v.,  verses  35-28. 

*  Pedro  Beltrau,  Arte  del  Idioma  Maya.     Pio  Perez,  Maya  dictionary. 
Gf.  ooaioo,  "  to  break." 

38  QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

Is  this  a  mere  coincidence  ?  By  no  means.  There  can  be 
no  doubt  that  the  Akkadian  or  Chaldean  tongue  contained 
many  Maya  words.  The  limits  of  this  work  do  not  allow  me 
to  adduce  all  the  proofs  I  could  bring  forward  to  fully  establish 
their  intimate  relationship.  A  few  more  must  suffice  for  the 

Let  us  take,  for  instance,  the  last  words,  according  to 
Matthew  and  Mark,'  spoken  by  Jesus  on  the  cross,  when  a 
sponge  saturated  with  posca'^  was  put  to  his  lips:  "Eli,  Eli, 
lamah  sdbachthani.''^ 

No  wonder  those  who  stood  near  him  could  not  understand 
what  he  said.  To  this  day  the  translators  of  the  Gospels  do 
not  know  the  meaning  of  these  words,  and  make  him,  who 
they  pretend  is  the  God  of  the  universe,  play  before  manldnd 
a  sorry  and  pitiful  role,  I  will  not  say  for  a  god,  but  for  a 
man  even.  He  spoke  pure  Maya.  He  did  not  complain 
that  God  had  forsaken  him  when  he  said  to  the  charitable 
individual  Avho  tried  to  allay  the  pangs  of  the  intolerable  thirst 
he  suffered  in  consequence  of  the  hardships  he  had  endured, 
and  the  torture  of  the  chastisement  inflicted  on  him:  "Hele, 
Hele,  laiiiali  zabac  ta  ni  ;  "  that  is,  "  Now,  now,  I  am 
fainting;  darkness  covers  my  face;  "  or,  in  John's  words,  "  It 
is  finished."  ^ 

'  Matthew,  chap,  xxvii.,  verse  46.     Mark,  ch.ap.  xv.,  verse  34. 

'^  Posca  was  tlic  ordinary  beverage  of  Roman  soldiers,  which  the}'  were 
obliged  to  carrj'  with  them  in  all  their  expeditious,  among  which  were  tlie 
executions  of  criminals.  Our  authorities  on  this  matter  are  Spartianus 
(Life  of  Iladrhm,  §  10)  and  Vulcatius  Gallicanus  (Lifeof  Aridlus  Cnssiui,  {,  5). 
This  posca  was  a  very  cooling  drink,  very  agreeable  in  hot  climates,  as  the 
writer  can  certifj',  having  frequently  used  it  in  his  expeditions  among  the 
ruined  cities  of  tlie  Mayas.  It  is  made  of  vinegar  and  water,  sweetened 
with  sugar  or  houey,  n  kind  of  oximel. 

'John,  chap,  xix.,  verse  30. 

Page  82. 

Plate  XXVIII. 


Again,  in  the  legend  of  the  creation,  as  reported  by  Bero- 
sus,  according  to  Eusebius  *  the  Chaldeans  believed  that  a 
■woman  ruled  over  aU  the  monstrous  beasts  which  inhabited 
the  waters  at  the  beginning  of  all  things.  Her  name  was 
Thalatth.  The  Greeks  translated  it  Tlialassa,  and  applied 
it  to  the  sea  itself.  Ask  modern  philologists  what  is  the 
etymology  of  that  word.  They  will  answer,  It  is  lost.  I  say, 
]S"o — it  is  not  lost !  Ask  again  any  Maya  scholar  the  meaning 
of  the  word  tliallac.  He  wiU  tell  you  it  denotes  "  a  thing 
without  steadiness,"  like  the  sea. 

Again,  Avhen  confidence  in  legal  divination  became  shaken 
by  the  progress  of  philosophical  incredulity,  and  the  observa- 
tion of  auguries  was  well  nigh  reduced  to  a  simple  matter  of 
form,^  Chaldean  magicians,  whose  fame  was  universal  and 
dated  from  very  remote  antiquity,  flocked  to  Eome,  and  were 
welcomed  by  the  Romans  of  all  classes  and  both  sexes.'  Their 
influence  soon  became  so  great  as  to  excite  the  superstitious 
fears  of  the  emperors,  praetors,  and  others  high  in  authority. 
As  a  consequence,  they  were  forbidden  under  heavy  penalties, 
even  that  of  death,  to  exercise  their  science.*  In  the  year  721 
of  Home,  under  the  triumvirate  of  Octavius,  Antonius,  and 
Lepidus,  they  were  expelled  from  the  city.^  They  then  scat- 
tered in  the  provinces — in  Gaul,  Spain,  Germany,  Brittany,  etc. 

Messrs.  Lenormant  and  Chevalier,  in  their  "  Ancient  His- 
tory of  the  East, ' '  ^  inform  us  that  when  these  conjurers  exor- 

'  Eusebius,  ChronL,  can.  i.  2,  pp.  11-13. 
''Cicero,  Be  Natura  Deorum^  11,  3. 

^  Juvenal,  Satires,  vi.  553.      Chaldeis  sed  major  erit  fidncia. 
*  Heiueccius,  Elements  of  Moman  Jurisprudence,  vol.  i.,  Tabul  viii.,  art. 
25,  p.  496. 

'  Dion  Cassius,  xlix.,  43,  p.  756,     Tacitus,  Annal,  11-83. 

'  Lenormant  et  Chevalier,  Ancient  IlistorTj  of  the  East,  vol.  i.,  p.  448. 


cised  evil  spirits  they  cried,  "  Hilha,  hilka!  Besha,  hesha!'''' 
which  they  render,  "  Go  away,  go  away!  evil  one,  evil  one!  " 

These  authors  little  suspected,  when  they  wrote  those  words, 
that  they  were  giving  a  correct  translation  of  the  Maya  voca- 
bles ilil  ka  xaxbe,  forming  part  of  a  language  still  spoken 
by  thousands  of  human  beings. 

In  order  to  understand  properly  the  meaning  of  the  exor- 
cism, we  must  read  it,  as  all  ancient  Maya  writings  should  be 
read,  from  right  to  left,  thus:  xabe,  xabe  !  kail !  kail !  The 
Maya  X  is  the  equivalent  of  the  English  sh. 

Xabe  is  evidently  a  corruption  of  the  Maya  verb  xaxbe, 
"to  be  put  aside,"  "to  make  room  for  one  to  pass."  Kd, 
or  kaii  means  "  something  bitter,"  "  sediment."  Ka  in 
Egyptian  was  "spirit,"  "genius,"  equivalent  to  the  Maya 
ku,  "god."  II  is  a  contraction  of  the  Maya  adjective  ilil, 
"vicious,"  a  "forbidden  thing,"  corresponding  exactly  to  the 
English  "ill,"  and  having  the  same  meaning.^  The  literal 
rendering  of  these  words  would  therefore  be,  "Aside,  aside! 
evil  spirit,  evil  spirit  !  "  as  given  by  Messrs.  Lenormant  and 

J.  Collin  de  Plancy,  in  his  "  Dictionnaire  Infernal,"  under 
the  title  ' '  Magic  Words, ' '  tells  us  that  magicians  taught  that  the 
fatal  consequences  of  the  bite  of  a  mad  dog  could  be  averted 
by  repeating  haxpax  nnax.  The  learned  author  of  the  diction- 
ary deprecates  the  ignorant  superstition  of  people  who  believe 
in  such  nonsense;  and  he  himself,  through  his  ignorance  of 
the  American  Maya  language,  fails  to  comprehend  the  great 
scientific  importance  of  those  words  that  to  him  are  meaning- 

■  Pio  Perez,  Maya  dictionary,  aud  also  ancient  Maya  dictionary  SIS. 
in  Brown  Librury,  Providence,  R.  I. 


These  words  belong  to  the  Maya  tongue,  although  we  are 
told  they  are  Chaldee  and  used  by  Chaldean  magicians. 

Hax,  in  Maya,  is  a  small  cord  or  twine  twisted  by  hand; 
that  is  to  say,  on  the  spur  of  the  moment,  in  a  hurry.  Such 
cord  would  naturally  be  used  to  make  a  ligature  to  stop  the 
circulation  of  the  blood  in  the  wounded  limb,  to  prevent  the 
rabid  virus  from  entering  into  it.  This  ligature  is  still  made 
use  of  in  our  day  by  the  aborigines  of  Yucatan  in  case  of  any 
one  being  bitten  by  a  snake  or  other  venomous  animal. 

Pax  is  a  Maya  verb  of  the  third  conjugation,  the  meaning 
of  which  is  to  play  on  a  musical  instrument. 

The  action  of  music  on  the  nervous  system  of  animals,  of 
man  particularly,  was  well  known  of  the  ancients.  They  had 
recourse  to  harmonious  sounds  to  calm  the  fury  of  those 
afflicted  with  insanity.  We  read  in  the  Bible: '  "  And  it  came 
to  pass,  when  the  evil  spirit  from  God  was  upon  Saul,  that 
David  took  a  harp,  and  the  evil  spirit  departed  from  him. ' '  "We 
are  aware  that  music  can  excite  all  passions  in  man  or  appease 
them  when  aroused.  Martial  sounds  inflame  in  the  breast  of 
warriors  homicidal  rage,  and  they  rush  blindly  to  combat  and 
slay  one  another  without  cause  or  provocation.  Patriotic 
hymns  sustain  the  courage  of  the  victims  of  political  parties, 
even  in  the  face  of  death.  Soft  and  sweet  melodies  soothe  the 
evil  passions,  predisposing  the  mind  to  peace,  quietude,  and 
meditation.  Religious  strains  excite  ecstasy,  when  the  mind 
sees  visions  of  heavenly  things,  and  the  enthusiasts  become 
convinced  that  they  hold  communion  with  celestial  beings, 
whoever  or  whatever  these  may  be,  and  imagine  they  act  under 
divine  impulse. 

The  thaiimaturgi  of  old  were  well  acquainted  with  the  in- 
'  1  Samuel,  chap,  xvi.,  verse  23. 


fluence  of  music  on  men.  In  the  temples  of  Greece  and  Asia 
they  used  flutes,  cymbals,  drums,  etc. ,  among  other  means,  to 
induce  in  certain  individuals  the  abnormal  condition  known 
to-day  as  "  clairvoyance,"  and  to  develop  prophetic  exaltation. 
And  Elisha  said: '  "  But  now  bring  me  a  minstrel;  and  it  came 
to  pass  when  the  minstrel  played  that  the  hand  of  the  Lord 
came  upon  him." 

Pax,  then,  indicates  that  in  cases  of  hydrophobia  they  had 
recourse  to  musical  instruments  to  calm  the  patient  and  assuage 
his  sufferings. 

Max  is  the  Maya  name  for  a  certain  species  of  wild  pepper 
(the  Myrtus  pimenta  of  Linnaeus,  the  Eugenia  pimenta  of  De 
CandoUe).  It  grows  spontaneously  and  in  great  abundance  in 
the  West  Indies,  Yucatan,  Central  America,  in  fact,  through- 
out the  tropical  regions  of  the  "Western  Continent.  Cayenne 
pepper,  therefore,  was  considered  by  the  Chaldeans  as  by  the 
Mayas  an  antidote  to  the  rabic  virus,  and  applied  to  the 
wounds,  as  garlic  is  in  our  day  and  has  been  from  remote  ages. 
It  is  a  very  ancient  custom  among  the  aborigines  of  Yucatan, 
when  anybody  is  bitten  by  a  rabid  dog,  to  cause  the  victim 
to  chew  garlic,  swallow  the  juice,  and  apply  the  pulp  to  the 
wounds  made  by  the  animal's  teeth.  They  firmly  believe  that 
such  application  and  internal  use  of  the  garlic  surely  cure 
hydrophobia,  or  any  other  evil  consequences  of  the  venomous 
virus  introduced  into  the  body  by  the  bites  of  certain  animals. 

Eesuming,  liax,  pax,  max,  simply  means,  make  a  liga- 
ture, soothe  the  patient  by  means  of  soft  music,  apply  wild 
pepper  to  cauterize  the  wounds  and  counteract  the  effects  of 
the  poison. 

Let  us  mention  another  name  the  etymon  of  which,  from 
'2  Kings,  chap,  iii.,  verse  15.     1  Samuel,  cliap.  x.,  verse  5. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  43 

the  Maya,  is  so  evident  that  it  cannot  be  regarded  as  a  mere 
coincidence.  A  hjrmn  in  the  Akkadian  language,  an  invoca- 
tion to  the  god  Asshur,  the  mighty  god  who  dwells  in  the 
temple  of  Kharsah-lcurra,  "the  mountain  of  the  world,  daz- 
zling with  gold,  silver,  and  precious  stones,"  has  been  trans- 
lated by  Professor  Sayce  of  England.' 

The  name  of  the  god  and  that  of  the  temple  in  which  he 
was  worshipped  are  bright  flashes  that  illumine  the  darkness 
surrounding  the  origin  of  these  ancient  nations  and  their  civil- 
ization. In  Maya  the  words  Kliarsak-hurra  would  have  to  be 
spelled  Kal-zac-kul-la,  the  meaning  of  which  is,  literally, 
kal,  "enclosure;"  zac,  "white;"  kul,  "to  adore;"  la, 
"eternal  truth,"  "God;"  that  is,  "the  white  enclosure 
where  the  eternal  truth  is  worshipped."  As  to  the  name 
of  the  god  Asshur,  or  Axul  in  Maya,  it  means,  a,  "thy;  " 
xul,  "end." 

In  all  nations  that  have  admitted  the  existence  of  a  Su- 
preme Being,  He  has  always  been  regarded  as  the  beginning 
and  the  end  of  all  things,  to  which  men  have  aspired,  and  do 
aspire,  to  be  united  after  the  dissolution  of  the  physical  body. 
This  reunion  with  God,  this  Nirvana,  this  End,  has  in  all 
ages  been  esteemed  the  greatest  felicity  to  which  the  spirit 
can  attain.  Hence  the  name  Axiil,  or  Asshur,  given  to  the 
Supreme  Deity  by  the  Assyrians  and  the  Chaldeans. 

'  Professor  A.  H.  Sayce  (translation),  Cuneiform  Inscriptions  of  Western 
Asia,  London,  vol.  i.,  pp.  44-i5  ;  also  Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  xi.,  pp. 
131-132.  Also  Lenormant,  Chaldean  Magic,  p.  168  ;  last  revised  transla- 
tion in  Les  Origines  de  VHistoire,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  127-128. 


Some  of  these  Maya-speaking  peoples,  following  the  migra- 
tory instincts  inherited  from  their  early  ancestors,  left  the  banks 
of  the  Euphrates  and  the  city  of  Babylon,  and  went  forth 
across  the  Syrian  desert,  toward  the  setting  sun,  in  search  of 
new  lands  and  new  homes.  They  reached  the  Isthmus  of  Suez. 
Pushing  their  way  through  it,  they  entered  the  fertile  vaUey 
of  the  NUe.  Following  the  banks  of  the  river,  they  selected 
a  district  of  Nubia,  where  they  settled,  and  which  they  named 
Maiu,'  in  remembrance  of  the  birthplace  of  their  people  in 
the  lands  of  the  setting  sun,  whose  worship  they  established 
in  their  newly  adopted  country.^ 

When  the  Maya  colonists  reached  the  vaUey  of  the  Nile, 
the  river  was  probably  at  its  full,  having  overflowed  its  banks. 
The  communications  between  the  native  settlements  being 
then  impossible  except  by  means  of  boats,  these  must  have 
been  very  numerous.       What  more  natural  than  to  call  it  the 

'  Henry  Brugscli-Bey,  History  of  Egypt  under  tlie  Pharaohs,  vol.  i.,  p.  3C3 ; 
vol.  ii.,  pp.  78-174. 

'  Tliotli  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  wlio  introduced  into  Egypt  the 
worship  of  the  "  Setting  Sun." 



*'  country  of    boats  " — Chem,   this    being   the    Maya    for 

Be  it  remembered  that  boats,  not  chariots,  must  have  been 
the  main  means  of  transportation  among  the  early  Egyptians. 
Hence,  unlike  the  Aryans,  the  Greeks,  the  Romans,  and  other 
nations,  they  did  not  figure  the  sun  travelling  through  the 
heavens  in  a  chariot  drawn  by  fiery  steeds,  but  sailing  in  the 
sky  in  a  boat ;  nor  were  their  dead  carried  to  their  resting- 
place  in  the  West  in  a  chariot,  but  in  a  boat. ' 


No  doubt  at  the  time  of  their  arrival  the  waters  were 
swarming  with  crocodiles,  so  they  also  naturally  called  the 
country  the  "place  of  crocodiles,"  Ain,  which  word  is  the 
name  of  Egypt  on  the  monuments  ;  ^  and  in  the  hieroglyphs 
^^■H  the  tail  of  that  animal  stood  for  it.     But  Ain  is  the 

©Maya  for  "crocodile."     The  tail  serves  as  rudder  to 
the  animal ;  so  for  the  initiates  it  symbolized,  in  this 
instance,  a  boat  as  well  as  a  crocodile.^ 
"  A  real  enigma,"  says  Mr.  Henry  Brugsch,  "  is  proposed 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  p.  178. 

'  Henry  Brugsch-Bey,  Hist,  of  Egypt,  vol.  i.,  p.  10. 

^  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  p.  200. 


to  US  in  the  derivation  of  the  curious  proper  names  by  which 
the  foreign  peoples  of  Asia,  each  in  its  own  dialect,  were  ac- 
customed to  designate  Egypt.  The  Hebrews  gave  the  land 
the  name  of  Misraim ;  the  Assyrians,  Muzur.  We  may  feel 
assured  that  at  the  basis  of  all  these  designations  there  lies  an 
original  form  which  consisted  of  the  three  letters  31,  z,  r — all 
explanations  of  which  have  as  yet  been  unsuccessful."  ' 

It  may  be  asked,  and  with  reason,  How  is  it  that  so  many 
learned  Egyptologists,  who  have  studied  the  question,  have 
failed  to  find  the  etymology  of  these  words  ? 

The  answer  is,  indeed,  most  simple.  It  is  because  they  have 
not  looked  for  it  in  the  only  language  where  it  is  to  be  found 
— the  Maya. 

Egypt  has  always  been  a  country  mostly  devoid  of  trees, 
which  were  uprooted  by  the  inundation,  whose  waters  carried 
their  debris  and  deposited  them  all  over  the  land.  The  hus- 
bandman, in  order  to  plough  the  soil,  had  first  to  clear  it 
from  the  rubbish;  hence  no  doubt  the  names  Misur,  or  Muzur, 
given  to  it  by  the  Assyrians.  Well,  then,  miz,  in  the  Maya 
language,  means  "  to  clear  away  rubbish  of  trees,"  and  inuu- 
zul  "to  uproot  trees." 

Not  satisfied  with  these  ononiatopoetic  names,  they  gave 
the  new  place  of  their  adoption  others  that  would  i-ecall  to 
their  mind  and  to  that  of  their  descendants  the  mother  country 
beyond  the  western  seas.  We  learn  from  the  Troano  MS., 
the  Codex  Cortesianus,  and  the  inscriptions,  that  Mayacli 
from  the  remotest  ages  was  symbolized  either  as  a  beb  (mul- 
berrj'^  tree)  or  as  a  haaz  (banana-tree);^  also  by  a  serpent 
with  inflated  breast,  standing  erect  in  the  midst  of  the  waters 

'  Henry  Brugscli-I3ey,  Hist,  of  Ki/i/pt,  vol.  i.,  p.  13. 

'  Aug.  Lc  Ploiigeoii,  Sacrid  Mi/ati'iiiS,  p.  115,  et  2iiissim. 

Page  8£. 

Plate  XXIX. 



between  the  two  American.  Mediterraneans,  the  Gulf  of  Mex- 
ico and  the  Caribbean  Sea,  represented  in  the  Maya  writings 
by  a  sign  similar  to  our  numerical  8.'  Diego  de  Cogolludo 
in  his  history  of  Yucatan  informs  us  that  up  to  a.  d.  1517, 
when  the  Spaniards  for  the  first  time  invaded  that  country, 
the  land  of  the  Mayas  was  stUl  designated  as  "the  great 
serpent "  and  "  the  tree."  ^ 

The  Maya  colonists  therefore  called  their  new  settlement 
on  the  banks  of  the  Nile  the  "  land  of  the-  serpent "  and  also 
the   "land  of  the  tree."     The  Egyptian  hierogram- 
matists  represented  their  country  as  a  serpent  with 
inflated  breast,  standing  on  a  figure  8,  under  which  is 

a  sieve,  called  Mayab  in  Maya ;  some- 
times also  as  a  serpent  with  inflated 
breast  \  and  wings,  wearing  a  head- 
dress /  V^  identical  with  that  worn  by 
some  ^A\  of  the  magnates  pictured  in 
the  bas-reliefs  at  ^^  *  Chichen.^  They  likewise  symbol- 
ized Egypt  as  a  ^1^  A  tree  ^  believed  to  be  the  Persea, 
sacred  to  the  ^B^  ■  goddess  Athor,  whose  fruit  in  the 
sculptures  resembles  a  human  heart,'  which  vividlj^  recalls 
the  on  of  the  Mayas,  that  bears  the  alligator  pear — the 
Laurus  persea  of  Linnaeus,  so  abundant  in  tropical  America. 

Can  it  be  that  all  these  are  mere  coincidences  ?    If  they  be, 
then  let  us  present  more  of  them. 

The  river,  spread  as  it  was  over  the  land,  they  designated 
as  Hapimil,  which  in  aftertimes  was  corrupted  into  liapi- 

'  Aug.  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  130,  et  jiassim. 

^  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yucatlian,  lib.  i.,  cap.  i. 

^  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  p.  199. 

*  Ihid.,  p.  200. 

»  Ibid.,  p.  119. 


mau.  It  is  a  word  composed  of  two  Maya  primitives — ha, 
"water,"  and  pirn,  "the  thickness  of  flat  surfaces;  "  hence 
the  "thickness,"  the  "depth  of  water."  The  desinence  il  is 
used  as  a  suflix  to  nouns  to  denote  usage,  custom,  or  a  thing 
having  existed  previously.  This  accords  precisely  with  the 
signification  given  to  the  name  Hapvmau  of  the  Nile,  by 
Egyptian  scholars,  the  "abyss  of  water." 

Herodotus  teUs  us'  that  "anciently  the  whole  of  Egypt, 
with  the  exception  of  the  nome  of  Thebes,  was  a  marshy 

The  name  Thebes,  of  the  capital  of  Upper  Egypt,  was 
Taba  among  the  natives.  That  word  seems  to  be  allied  to  the 
Maya  vocable  tepal,  "to  govern,"  "to  reign,"  which,  as  a 
noun,  is  equivalent  to  "majesty,"  "king,"  the  "head  of  the 

As  to  Memphis,  the  capital  of  Lower  Egj'pt,  its  sacred 
name,  we  are  informed  by  M.  Birch,  was  Ilahaptah,  which  is 
a  word  composed  of  two  Maya  vocables — lia,  "water,"  and 
kaptali,  past  participle  of  the  verb  kaapal,  "to  place  in  a 
hole."  The  name  of  the  city  would  then  signify  that  it  was 
huilt  in  a  hole  made  hy  water ;  very  appropriate  indeed,  since 
we  are  told  that  King  Menes,  the  founder  of  Memphis,  having 
diverted  the  course  of  the  Nile,  built  the  city  in  the  bed  of  the 
ancient  channel  in  which  it  flowed. 

The  very  name  of  King  Menes  may  be  a  mere  surname 
commemorative  of  his  doings,  since  the  Maya  word  men 
means  "wise  man,"  "legislator,"  "builder,"  "architect," 
every  one  of  these  epithets  being  applicable  to  him. 

Although  the  limits  of  this  book  allow  but  little  space  to 
adduce  more  proofs  of  the  Maya  origin  of  the  names  of  places 

'  Herodotus,  lib.  ii.,  iv. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  49 

— which  would  be,  after  all,  but  cumulative  evidence,  for  which 
the  reader  is  referred  to  my  larger  work,  "  The  Monuments  of 
Mayach  and  their  Historical  Teachings  " — I  cannot  resist  the 
temptation  to  mention  the  name  of  the  Governing  Spirit  of  the 
universe,  that  of  the  Creator,  and  of  the  deities  that  represented 
His  attributes  to  Egyptian  minds;  also  giving  the  Maya  ety- 
mology of  these  names.  In  order  that  it  cannot  be  argued 
that  they  are  mere  coincidences,  I  will  next  present  the  tableau 
of  creation  as  it  still  exists  on  the  east  facade  of  the  palace  at 
Chichen,  where  we  have  soon  to  return  and  pursue  our  study 
of  the  Memorial  Hall  dedicated  to  Prince  Coh  by  his  sister- 
wife  Queen  Moo. 

Chnoumis,  or  Noum,  was  said  to  be  the  "  vivifying  spirit," 
the  "cause  of  life  in  animals,"  the  "father  of  all  that  has 
life;"'  therefore,  the  abundant  source  from  which  all  things 
emanate.  This  is  the  exact  meaning  of  the  Maya  particle 
num  in  composition  with  another  word.^  Amen-num,  or 
x-num,  means  the  "  architect,"  the  "  builder  of  all  things  " — 
a,  contraction  of  ah,  "the;  "  men,  "architect,"  "builder," 
"  wise  man,"  "  legislator;"  num,  or  x-num,  "  multiplicity," 
' '  abundance  of  things. ' ' 

Kneph  was  another  name  for  X-noum,  who  was  also 

called  Amen-Kneph.      HorapoUo   says:    "The   snake   is   the 

emblem  of  the  spirit  which  pervades  the  universe."  ^     So  also 

we  learn  from  Eusebius,  who  tells  us  that  the  Egyptians  called 

Kneph  the  "  good  genius,"  and  represented  him  under  the 

shape  of   a  serpent.''      In   the  ancient  monuments   the  god 

'  Eusebius,  Prcep.  et  Demons.  Evang.,  lib.  iii.,  chap,  xi.,  p.  315.  Diodorus 
Siculus,  Hist.,  lib.  i.  13. 

'  Pedro  Beltran,  Arte  del  Idioma  Maya, 

^  Hoiapollo,  Hieroglyphs,  lib.  ii. 

*  Eusebius,  Prmp.,  Evang.,  lib.  iii.,  chap.  xi.     Vigiers,  Paris,  1638. 


ATnen-Kneph  is  often  depicted  either  preceded  or  followed 
by  an  enormous  serpent  that  envelops  him  within  its  huge 
folds.'  This  is  not  the  place  to  enter  into  speculations  as 
to  the  reasons  why  the  Egyptians  selected  the  serpent  as 
emblem  of  the  deity.  In  another  work  I  have  explained  the 
origin  of  serpent  worship  among  the  Mayas.'  The  name 
K-neph  can  be  read  Ka-nepli,  that  may  be  a  dialectical  pro- 
nunciation of  the  Maya  word  Canhel,  which  means  a  serpent, 
a  dragon.  Later  on  we  will  see  the  serpent  accompanying  the 
statue  of  the  Creator,  in  the  tableau  of  creation  at  Chiclien. 
Pthah  was  the  name  of  another  attribute  of  the  Divine 
Spirit,  a  different  form  of  the  creative  power,  said  to  be  sprung 
from  an  egg  produced  from  the  mouth  of  Kneph.'  It  there- 
fore corresponds  to  Brahma,  the  ancestor  of  all  beings,  in  the 
Hindoo  cosmogony,''  to  Melien  in  that  of  the  Mayas. 
Pthah,  says  lamblicus,  was  the  artisan;  the  "  Lord  of  Truth," 
according  to  Porphyry.  In  the  Maya  language  Thaali 
means  the  "worker,"  the  " artisan. "°  In  the  Maya  sculp- 
tures, particularly  on  the  trunk  of  the  mastodon  heads 
that  adorn  the  most  ancient  buildings,  the  name  is  written 
^S^  ^"Z^  Tza,  "  that  which  is  necessary."^ 
^'^^  ><_>'  Khem  was  the  generative  principle  of  nature, 
another  attribute  of  the  Creator.  This  god  presided  over  gen- 
eration, not  only  of  man  and  all  species  of  animals,  but  of  the 
vegetable  world  also.  Mr.  Samuel  Birch  affirms  that  his  name 
has  been  variously  read  Xem  or  Miii. 

'  Eusebius,  Prmp.,  Evang.,  lib.  iii.,  chap.  xi.     Vigiers,  Paris,  1628. 
°  Aug.  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  100,  et  passim,  particularly  in 
MonuiTients  of  Mayach  and  their  Historical  Teachings,  chap.  iii. 
'  HorapoUo,  Hierogl.,  lib.  i.  12. 
'  Manava-Dhitrnui-SdMra,  lib.  i.,  chap,  i.,  Sloka  9. 
'  Pio  Perez,  ]>Iaya  dictionary.     Pedro  Beltian,  Arte  Jd  Idioma  Maya. 
'  Ibid. 


In  the  Maya  language  liem-ba  is  the  organs  of  generation 
in  animals,  xex  is  the  sperm  of  man,  and  iiain  the  "grand- 
mother on  the  father's  side."  * 

Naturally  this  query  wiU  present  itself  to  the  mind  of  the 
reader  as  it  has  to  that  of  the  author:  Supposing  Maya  colo- 
nists, coming  from  the  east,  reached  the  valley  of  the  JSTile, 
established  themselves  there,  and  developed  that  stupendous 
civilization  of  which  Kenan  says:^  "For  when  one  thinks  of 
this  civilization,  at  least  six  thousand  five  hundred  years  old 
from  the  present  day ;  that  it  has  had  no  known  infancy ;  that 
this  art,  of  which  there  remain  innumerable  monuments,  has  no 
archaic  period ;  that  the  Egypt  of  Cheops  and  of  Chephren  is 
superior  in  a  sense  to  all  that  followed — one  is  seized  with 
giddiness.     '  On  estpris  de  vertige.''  " 

Although  mistaken  in  asserting  that  Egyptian  art  had  no 
archaic  period,  he  is  right,  however,  in  saying  that  its  birth- 
place was  a  mystery  for  Egyptologists;  for,  to  quote  Rawlin- 
son's  own  words,  "  In  Egypt  it  is  notorious  that  there  is  no 
indication  of  an  early  period  of  savagery  or  barbarism.  .  .  . 
All  authorities  agree  that,  however  far  back  we  go,  we  find  in 
Egypt  no  rude  or  uncivilized  time  out  of  Avhich  civilization  is 
developed."^  "The  reasonable  inference  from  these  facts," 
says  Osburn  "  (to  our  apprehension,  we  are  free  to  confess,  the 
only  reasonable  one),  appears  to  be,  that  the  first  settlers  in 
Egypt  were  a  company  of  persons  in  a  high  state  of  civiliza- 
tion, but  that  through  some  strange  anomaly  in  the  history  of 
man  they  had  been  deprived  of  a  great  part  of  the  language 
and  the  entire  written  system  which  had  formerly  been  the 

■  Pio  Perez,  Maya  dictionary.     Pedro  Beltran,  Art  del  Idiama  Maya. 
''  Ernest  Renan,  Revue  des  deux,  April,  1865. 
^  Rawlinson,  Origin  of  Nations,  p.  13. 


means  and  vehicle  of  their  civilization.  .  .  .  Combin- 
ing this  inference  with  the  clear,  unanswerable  indications  we 
have  already  pointed  out,  that  the  fathers  of  ancient  Egypt 
first  journeyed  thither  across  the  Isthmus  of  Suez,  and  that 
they  brought  with  them  the  worship  of  the  '  setting  sun, '  how 
is  it  possible  to  resist  the  conclusion  that  they  came  thither 
from  the  plains  of  Babel,  and  that  the  civilization  of  Egypt 
was  derived  from  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates?  "  ^ 

This  so  far  is,  or  seems  to  be,  perfectly  true;  but  who  were 
the  emigrants  ?  Osburn  does  not  tell  us.  What  country  did 
they  come  from  when  they  reached  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates 
and  brought  there  civilization?  They  did  not  " drop  from  the 
unknown  heavens,"  ^  as  Seiss  would  have  his  readers  to  believe, 
although  they  came  from  Kui-land,  the  country  of  the  gods 
in  the  west.' 

The  Egyptians  themselves  claimed  that  their  ancestors  were 
strangers  who,  in  very  remote  ages,  settled  on  the  banks  of 
the  Nile,^  bringing  there,  with  the  civilization  of  their  mother 
country,  the  art  of  writing  and  a  polished  language ;  that  they 
had  come  from  the  direction  of  the  setting  sun,^  and  that  they 
were  the  " most  ancient  of  men."  ^  This  expression  Herodotus 
regarded  as  mere  boasting.  It  is,  however,  easily  explained  if 
the  Egyptians  held  Mayach,  O  "the  land  first  emerged 
from  the  bosom  of  the  deep,"  as  the  cradle  of  their  race. 

This  statement,  that  the  Egyptians  pointed  to  the  west  as 

'  William  Osburn,  The  Monumental  History  of  Egypt,  vol.  i.,  chap,  iv., 
pp.  320-321. 

"  Seiss,  A  Miracle  in  Stone,  p.  40. 

'  Ku  is  tlie  Maya  and  also  the  Egyptian  for  Divine  Intelligence,  God  ; 
i  is  the  mark  of  plural  iu  Egyptian  and  Quichfi. 

*  Rawlinson,  Origin  of  Nations,  p.  13. 

°  Diodorus,  Hist.,  vol.  i.,  p.  50. 

°  Herodotus,  Hist.,  lib.  ii.  11. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  53 

the  point  of  the  compass  where  the  birthplace  of  their  ancestors 
was  situated,  may  seem  a  direct  contradiction  of  the  fact  that 
the  first  Maya  settlers  in  the  vaUey  of  the  Nile  came  from  the 
banks  of  the  Euphrates;  that  is,  from  the  east.  This  seeming 
discrepancy  is,  however,  easily  explained  by  the  other  fact,  that 
there  were  two  distinct  Maya  migrations  to  Egypt.  The 
second,  the  more  important,  coming  from  the  West,  direct  from 
Mayacli,  produced  a  more  lasting  impression  on  the  memory 
of  the  people. 

We  have  followed  step  by  step  the  Mayas  in  their  jour- 
neys from  their  homes  in  the  "Lands  of  the  West"  across 
the  Pacific,  along  the  shores  of  the  Indian  Ocean  to  the  head 
of  the  Persian  Gulf,  then  up  the  Euphrates — on  the  banks  of 
which  they  formed  settlements  that  in  time  became  large  and 
important  cities — to  Babylon.  The  migration  of  these  Maya- 
speaking  peoples  from  the  eastern  countries,  across  the  Syrian 
desert,  to  Egypt  took  place  centuries  before  the  coming  to 
that  country  of  Queen  Mdo  with  her  retinue,  direct  from 
Mayach,  across  the  Atlantic.  Her  followers,  fresh  from  the 
"  Lands  of  the  West,"  naturally  brought  with  them  the  man- 
ners and  customs,  traditions,  religion,  arts,  and  sciences  of  the 
mother  country  they  had  so  recently  abandoned.  They  were 
aped,  and  their  ways  readily  adopted,  by  the  descendants  of  the 
first  Maya  settlers,  who  had  become  more  or  less  contaminated 
Avith  the  habits,  superstitions,  religious  ideas,  of  the  inhabitants 
of  the  various  places  where  they  had  so  long  sojourned,  or 
with  whom  they  had  been  in  contact. 

If,  therefore,  we  wish  to  find  the  cradle  of  Egyptian  civili- 
zation, where  it  had  its  infancy  and  developed  from  a  state  of 
barbarism,  and  why  it  appeared  full  grown  on  the  banks  of 
the  Nile,  we  must  seek  westward  whence  it  was  transplanted. 


It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  history  repeats  itself.  What  hap- 
pened centuries  ago  in  the  valley  of  the  Nile  happens  in  our 
day.  European  civilization  is  now  being  transported  full 
grown  to  the  United  States  and  other  countries  of  the  Western 
Continent.  Ten  thousand  years  hence,  scholars  speaking  of 
the  present  Anaerican  civilization  may  reecho  Renan's  words 
regarding  the  Egyptian:  "It  had  no  known  infancy — no 
archaic  period." 

We  have  seen  that  the  Akkadians — that  is,  the  primitive 
Chaldeans,  who  dwelt  in  places  enclosed  by  palisades  in  the 
marshy  lands  at  the  mouth  of  the  Euphrates — who  brought 
civilization  to  Mesopotamia,  possessed  a  perfect  system  of  writ- 
ing; spoke  a  polished  language  akin  to  the  Maya;  had  cos- 
mogonic  notions  identical  with  those  of  the  Mayas,  and 
expressed  them  by  means  of  a  diagram  similar  to,  but  more 
complex  than,  that  found  in  Uxnial,  Yucatan. 

We  have  also  seen  that  the  Maya-speaking  peoples,  whose 
tracks  we  have  followed  across  the  Syrian  desert,  and  who 
settled  in  the  valley  of  the  Nile,  brought  there  the  art  of  writ- 
ing, a  polished  language,  and  the  same  cosmogonic  notions 
entertained  by  the  Chaldees,  the  Hindoos,  and  the  3Iayas ; 
that  the  names  of  the  cities  they  founded,  of  the  gods  they 
worshipped,  were  also  words  belonging  to  the  Maya  language. 
In  another  work '  it  has  been  shown  that  the  Maya  alphabet, 
discovered  by  the  author,  and  the  Egyptian  hieratic  alphabet 
were  identical.  Did  the  limits  of  this  book  allow,  it  could 
also  be  proved  that  the  initial  letter  of  the  Maya  names  of  the 
objects  representing  the  letters  of  the  Egyptian  alphabet  is 
the  very  letter  so  represented  in  said  alphabet,  and  that  several 
of  these  signs  are  contours  of  localities  in  the  Maya  Empire. 

'  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  Introduction,  p.  xii. 

Page  8S. 

Plait  XXX. 




From  these  premises  may  it  not  be  safely  asserted,  that, 
if  the  Mayas  and  the  Egyptians  did  not  teach  one  another 
the  arts  of  civilization,  they  both  learned  them  from  the  same 
masters,  at  the  same  schools?  And  if  Professor  Max  Miiller's 
assertion  be  true,  that  particularly  in  the  early  history  of  the 
human  intellect  there  existed  the  most  intimate  relationship 
between  language,  religion,  and  nationality,'  then  there  can  be 
no  doubt  that  the  Egyptians  and  the  Mayas  were  branches 
of  one  mighty  stem  firmly 
rooted  in  the  soil  of  the 
"Land  of  KuV  in  the 
"Western  Continent. 

Should  I  give  dates, 
according  to  the  author  of 
the  Troano  MS.  and  other 
Maya  historians,  many 
would  doubt  their  accuracy 
and  reply  :  How  do  we 
know  that  you  have  cor- 
rectly interpreted  narra- 
tives— written  in  characters  that  none  of  the  Americanists, 
who  claim  to  be  authorities  on  American  palseography,  can 
decipher  ?  It  is  well  known  that  they  cannot  interpret  with 
certainty  half  a  dozen  of  the  Maya  signs,  much  less  translate 
a  whole  sentence;  and  they  assert  that,  if  they,  who  have 
written  whole  volumes  on  the  subject,  do  not  understand  these 
Maya  writings,  no  one  else  can. 

For  this  reason  I  leave  to  Mr.  Bunsen  the  care  of  determin- 
ing the  dates,  particidarly  as  those  calculated  by  him,  strange 

'  Max  Miiller,  Science  of  Religion^  p.  53. 

^  Wilkinson,  Manners  and,  Customs,  vol.  ii,,  p.  198. 



as  it  may  appear,  correspond  very  nearly  to  those  given  by  the 
ancient  Maya  writers. 

"  The  latest  date  at  which  the  commencement  of  Egyptian 
life,  the  immigration  from  the  Euphrates  district,'  can  have 
taken  place  is  9580  b.c,  or  about  6000  before  Menes.  But  the 
empire  which  Menes  founded,  or  the  chronological  period  of 
the  Egyptians  as  a  nation,  down  to  the  end  of  the  reign  of 
Nectanebo  II.,  comprised,  according  to  our  historical  computa- 
tions, very  nearly  thirty-three  centuries. 

"In  reality,  there  were  disturbances,  especially  in  those 
early  times,  which  must  be  taken  into  account.  We  have  cal- 
culated the  lowest  possible  date  to  be  six  thousand  years,  or  one 
hundred  and  eighty  generations,  before  Menes.  "Were  this  to 
be  doubled,  it  would  assuredly  carry  us  too  far.  A  much  higher 
date,  indeed  twice  that  number  of  years,  would  certainly  be 
more  conceivable  than  a  lower  one,  considering  the  vast  amount 
of  development  and  historical  deposit  which  existed  prior  to 
Menes.  It  can  be  proved  that  but  a  few  centuries  after  his 
time  everything  had  become  rigid  not  only  in  language  but 
also  in  writing,  which  had  grown  up  entirely  on  Egyptian  soil, 
and  which  must  be  called  the  very  latest  link  in  that  ancient 

"Now,  if  instead  of  six  thousand  years  we  reckon  four 
thousand  more,  or  about  ten  thousand  years  from  the  first  im- 
migration down  to  Menes,  the  date  of  the  Egyptian  origines 
would  be  about  14000  b.c."  ^ 

'  Philostratus,  in  his  Life  of  Apollonius  of  Tyana,  a  book  written  at  the 
beginning  of  the  Christian  era,  asserts  (p.  146)  that  the  first  Egyptians  were 
a  colony  from  India. 

"  Buuseu,  EgypVs  Place  in  Universal  History,  vol.  iv.,  p.  58. 


"When,  by  their  increasing  numbers  and  their  superior  civil- 
ization, the  descendants  of  the  emigrants  that  came  from  the 
banks  of  the  Euphrates  had  become  the  dominating  power 
in  the  valley  of  the  Nile,  they  sent  colonists  to  the  land  of 
Kancrnn.  These,  following  the  coast  of  the  Mediterranean, 
advanced  as  far  north  as  Mount  Taurus  in  Asia  Minor ;  and  as 
they  progressed  they  founded  settlements,  that  in  time  became 
great  and  important  cities,  the  sites  of  mighty  nations  whose 
history  forms  for  us,  at  present,  the  ancient  history  of  the 

The  names  of  these  cities  and  nations  will  be  the  unerring 
guide  which  wiU  lead  us  on  the  road  followed  by  these  Maya- 
speaking  colonists,  that,  starting  from  Egypt,  carried  their 
civilization  along  the  eastern  shores  of  the  Mediterranean, 
northward;  then,  eastward,  back  again  to  the  banks  of  the 
Euphrates  in  Mesopotamia. 

On  leaving  Egypt  they  had  to  traverse  the  sandy  desert 
that  forms  the  Isthmus  of  Suez,  and  is  the  northern  limit,  the 
end,  of  the  Sinai  peninsula.     "We  have  already  said  that  the 

58  QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

Mayas  generally  gave  names  to  objects  and  places  by  onomat- 
opoeia; that  is,  according  to  sounds  produced  by  these  objects, 
or  the  ideas  suggested  by  their  most  predominant  character- 
istic. What,  then,  more  natural  than  to  call  this  stretch  of 
desert  Xul,  "  the  end  "  ? — a  word  that  became  afterward  >S^«r 
in  the  mouth  of  people  using  the  letter  R  in  their  alphabet.' 

Advancing  northward,  they  no  doubt  were  struck  by  the 
fertility  of  the  country,  and  therefore  called  it  Kanaan.  The 
etjmiology  of  this  name  is  stm  an  unsolved  puzzle  for  philolo- 
gists, who  do  not  agree  as  to  its  meaning.  Some  say  it  means 
"  lowlands;  "  others  contend  it  signifies  "  merchants;  "  others, 
again,  affirm  that  the  name  was  given  to  the  land  by  the  Phoe- 
nicians, on  account  of  the  surprising  productiveness  of  its  soil. 
According  to  Maya  the  latter  are  right,  since  in  that  language 
Kanaan  is  the  word  for  "abundance."" 

In  after  years,  when  the  Phoenicians  became  such  a  mighty 
maritime  power  as  to  render  them  redoubtable  to  their  neigh- 
bors, the  Egyptians  called  Phoenicia  Zahi,^  a  Maya  word 
the  meaning  of  which  ("full  of  menace,"  "to  be  feared") 
is  certainly  most  expressive  of  their  opinion  of  the  might  of 
the  Tyrian  merchant  princes.  Perhaps  the  treatment  of  the 
Bephahn,^  the  aboriginal  inhabitants,  by  the  Phoenicians,  who 
called  them  the  "manes  of  the  dead,"  and  destroyed  them 
when  they  took  possession  of  their  country,  suggested  the 
name.  The  Egyptians  designated  them  as  Sati ;  *  that  is, 
zati  (in  Maya),  the  "  lost,"  the  "  ruined  "  ones. 

'  The  Maya  X  is  equivalent  to  the  Greek  x  or  the  English  sh. 

"  Anciently  there  was  a  town  iu  Yucatan  called  Zahi,  the  ruins  of  which 
still  exist  a  few  miles  to  the  southwest  of  those  of  the  great  city  of  Uxnial. 

'  Genesis,  chap,  xiv.,  verse  5  ;  xv.  20. 

*  Chablas's  translation  of  Les  Papyrus  Hieratiques  de  Berlin.  (Chalons, 

Page  58. 

Plate  XX. 


The  word  Rephaim  is  another  enigma  for  philologists. 
They  pretend,  although  they  do  not  affirm  it  positively,  that 
it  means  "giants."^  The  Maya,  however,  tells  us  it  simply 
signifies  "inhabitants  of  the  lowlands,"  which  is  the  purport 
of  the  name  Ccmacm,  according  to  some  philologists.  Rephavm, 
seems  to  be  composed  of  three  Maya  primitives — leb,  ha, 
im — leb,  to  "cover;"  ha,  "water;"  im,  contraction  of 
imix,  "bosom,"  "basin;"  therefore,  literally,  "the  basin 
covered  by  water,"  hence  the  "  lowlands." 

We  read  in  the  ethnic  table  of  Genesis,'  "  Ccmacm  begat 
Tsidon  his  firstborn,"  which  means  that  Tzidon  was  prob- 
ably the  earliest  settlement  founded  by  the  Maya-speaking 
colonists  from  Egypt;  when,  according  to  the  book  of  Na- 
bathoean  agriculture,  compiled  in  the  early  ages  of  the  Chris- 
tian era,  it  seems  that  the  Phoenicians  were  expelled  from 
Babylon  in  consequence  of  a  quarrel  with  the  Cushite  monarch 
then  reigning — an  event  which  probably  occurred  about  the 
time  of  Abram,  when  a  migration  set  in  motion  from  the  banks 
of  the  Euphrates  to  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean.  They 
had  therefore  been  in  close  relation  with  the  Ethiopians  of  the 
coast  of  the  Erythraean  Sea  and  the  Chaldeans  of  Babjdonia. 
Then,  even  if  they  used  also  Maya  words  in  giving  names  to 
the  countries  they  conquered  and  the  cities  they  founded,  it 
could  be  easily  accounted  for;  as  also  the  similarity  of  their 
alphabetical  characters  with  those  carved  on  the  walls  of  the 
temples  and  palaces  of  Mayach,  where  we  see  portraits  of 
bearded  men  of  unmistakable  Phoenician  types,  discovered  by 
the  author  in  1875.  Tsidon^Rahhah  is  one  of  the  epithets 
given  in  the  Bible  to  the  old  capital  of  Phoenicia,  and  is  trans- 

'  Joshua,  chap,  xii.,  verse  4;  chap,  xiii.,  verse  13. 
'  Genesis,  chap,  x.,  verse  15. 


lated  " Zidon  the  great."     The  Maya,  however,  gives  Tzidon 
the  ancient.^ 

On  the  northern  coast  of  Yucatan  there  is  a  seaport  called 
to-day  Zilan,  near  which  are  to  be  seen  the  extensive  ruins  of 
the  ancient  city  of  Oilan  {DzilmC).  Is  it  not  possible  that 
the  founders  of  the  seaport  in  Canaan  gave  it  the  name  of 
Tzidon  in  remembrance  of  that  of  the  seaport  in  Mayach,  and 
that  Tzidon  is  either  a  dialectical  pronunciation  or  a  corrup- 
tion of  Dzilan  ? 

The  city  that  vied  in  importance  with  Tzidon,  and  at  last 
obtained  the  supremacy,  was  Tzur,  "the  strong  city,"^  the 
Tyrus  of  the  Greeks  and  of  the  Latins.  The  philologists 
translate  the  name  "rock,"  and  historians  aflSrm  that  the 
founder  gave  it  to  the  city  because  it  was  built  on  a  rocky 
island  about  half  a  mile  from  the  shore.  Tzub  is  the  Maya 
for  "promontory,"  and  Tzucub  is  a  "province." 

The  principal  god  worshipped  by  the  Phoenicians  was 
the  sun,  under  the  name  of  Baal  or  Bel,  which  we  are  told 
meant  "lord,"  "  chief."  This  is  exactly  one  of  the  meanings 
of  the  word  Baal  (in  Maya).'  As  for  Bel,  it  is  in  Maya  the 
"road,"  the  "origin." 

Astarte,  or  Ishtar,  was  the  goddess  of  love  of  the  Phoe- 
nicians, the  Chaldeans,  Assyrians,  etc.,  as  "Venus  was  of  the 
Eomans,  and  Aphrodite  of  the  Greeks.  Her  cult  was  cele- 
brated with  great  pomp  in  Babylon  and  in  Nineveh.  Her 
name  in  Maya  would  be  Ixtal  or  Ixtac,  a  word  composed  of 
two  Maya  primitives — the  feminine  pronoun  ix,  "  she,"  and 
the  verb  tal  or  tac,  "  to  feel  the  desire  to  do  something  cor- 

'  Itabbah  would  read  in  Maya  Labal, 'the  meaning  of  which  is  "to 
become  old,"  "  to  age." 

«  Joshua,  chap,  xix.,  verse  29.     Jeremiali,  chap,  xxv.,  verse  23. 
"  Jos6  de  Acosta,  Ilistm-ia  Natural  y  Moral  de  las  Indicis,  1590. 


poreal;  "  as,  for  instance,  tac  in  uenel,  "  I  want  to  sleep." 
Ixtal  or  Ixtac,  or  Ishtar,  would  therefore  mean  "she  who 
wishes  to  satisfy  a  corporeal  desire,  inclination,  or  want." 
What  name  more  appropriate  for  the  goddess  of  love  and  lust ! 

Moloch  was  another  god  of  the  Phoenicians,  to  whom 
offerings  of  human  victims  were  made  by  enclosing  them 
alive  in  a  bronze  statue  representing  him.  This  being  heated 
to  red  heat,  the  bodies  were  consumed,^  and  were  said,  by  the 
priests,  to  have  served  as  food  for  the  god  who  had  devoured 

Moloeh  is  another  descriptive  name  composed  of  two  Maya 
primitives — niol,  to  gather,  and  och  or  ooch,  food,  provis- 
ions, provender.  Do  not  these  sacrifices  to  Moloch  of  human 
victims  burned  alive  vividly  recall  those  made  by  the  Itzaes  of 
Peten  to  Hobo  the  destroyer,  in  Avhich  a  human  victim  was 
burned  alive  amidst  dances  and  songs  ?  ^ 

Neighbors  to  the  Phoenicians,  on  the  north,  were  the  pow- 
erful Khati,  who  dwelt  in  the  valley  of  the  Orontes.  Their 
origin  is  still  a  matter  of  speculation  for  ethnologists,  and  so 
is  also  their  name  for  philologists.  They  made  themselves 
famous  on  account  of  their  terrible  wars  with  the  Assyrians 
and  the  Egyptians.  Placed  between  these  two  nations,  they 
opposed  either,  and  proved  tenacious  and  redoubtable  adversa- 
ries to  both.  All  historians  agree  that  the  Khati,  up  to  the 
time  when  they  were  vanquished  by  Eameses  the  Great,  always 
placed  obstacles  in  the  way  of  conquest  by  these  nations,  and 
at  all  times  sallied  forth  in  battle  array  to  meet  them  and 
prevent  their  passage  through  their  territories.     Was  it  from 

'  Leviticus,  cliap.  xviii.,  verse  21. 

=  John  Kcnriclc,  Phomicla,   p.   317.      Gustave  Flaubert,  Salatnbo,  chap, 
xiii.     Moloch  the  Devourer,  Diodorus  Siculus,  lib.  xx.,  cap.  14. 

'CogoUudo,  Hist,  de  Yucathan,  lib.  ix.,  cap.  14. 


that  fact  that  they  were  called  Khati  ?  Any  Maya  scholar 
will  answer,  No  doubt  of  it ;  since  kat  is  a  Maya  verb  mean- 
ing "  to  place  obstacles  across  a  road  "  or  "  to  sally  forth  to 
impede  the  passage  of  a  road  "  > — a  name  most  in  accordance 
with  the  customs  of  that  warlike  nation. 

The  Khati  were  not  warriors  only;  they  were  likewise  mer- 
chants, whose  capital,  Carchemish,  situated  at  the  confluence 
of  the  river  Chebar  and  the  Euphrates,  vied  in  commercial 
importance  with  Tyre  and  Carthage.  There  met  traders  from 
India  and  other  countries. 

Ca/rchemish,  the  great  emporium,  was,  as  its  name  indi- 
cates, the  place  where  navigators  and  merchants  from  afar 
congregated.  This  name  is  composed  of  two  Maya  vocables — 
cah,  "city,"  and  cheiuul,  "navigator."  Carchemish  may 
well  be  a  dialectical  pronunciation  of  Cahcheniul,  the 
"  port,"  the  "  place  of  navigators,"  hence  of  merchants. 

Katish  was  the  sacred  city  of  the  Khati,  where  they 
were  wont  to  worship  in  a  temple  dedicated  to  Set,  or  Sut, 
their  principal  god.  Set  was  the  brother  of  Osiris,  and  his 
murderer.  His  name  is  a  cognate  word  of  ze  (Maya),  "to 
ill-treat  with  blows."  In  that  place  sacrifices  were  offered, 
and  religious  ceremonies  particularly  performed,  as  its  name 
indicates.  We  have  just  said  that  cah  is  the  Maya  for  "  city  " 
or  "village."  Tich  is  a  peculiar  ceremony  practised  by  the 
Mayas  from  the  remotest  antiquity,  and  stiU  observed  by  their 
descendants.  It  consists  in  making  offerings,  called  u-kanil- 
col,  "the  crop  is  ripe,"  to  the  Yviinil  Kaax,  the  "lord  of 
the  fields,"  of  the primitice  of  all  crops  before  beginning  the 
harvest.     In  another  work^  I  have  described  the  ceremony. 

'  Pedro  Beltran,  Arte  del  Idioma  Maya.     Pio  Perez,  ]>Iiiya  dictionary. 
°  A.  Le  Plongeon,  Monument)  of  Mayach,  etc. 

Page  6S. 

Plate  XXI. 

QUEEN  m60  and  THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  63 

Cahtich,  or  Katish,  is  therefore  an  appropriate  name  for  a 
sacred  city  where  religious  ceremonies  are  performed  and  offer- 
ings made  to  the  gods. 

The  whole  coast  of  Asia  Minor  on  the  Mediterranean  was 
once  inhabited  by  nations  having  their  homonyms  in  the 
Western  Continent.  Prominent  among  these  were  the  Cari- 
ans,  of  unknown  origin,  but  wide-spread  fame.  Herodotus,^ 
himself  a  Carian,  says  that  the  ancient  Carians  called  themselves 
ZeZ«^es,  a  name  akin  to  Leleth  (Maya),  "to  dwell  in  rocky 
places."  "Well,  Strabo^  teUs  us  they  had  been  the  occupants 
of  all  Ionia  and  of  the  islands  of  the  J]]gean  Sea,  until  driven 
from  them  by  the  lonians  and  the  Dorians,  when  they  estab- 
lished themselves  on  the  mainland.  Thucydides  calls  them 
pirates,  and  asserts  that  King  Minos  expeUed  them  from  the 
Cyclades.^  Herodotus,  bound  to  defend  his  countrymen  from 
such  an  imputation,  simply  represents  them  as  a  warlike  and 
seafaring  people  that,  when  requested,  manned  the  ships  of 
Minos.  At  that  time  they  styled  themselves  "  the  most  famous 
of  aU  nations  of  the  earth."  *  The  dress  of  the  Carian  women 
consisted  of  a  linen  tunic  which  required  no  fastenings.^  From 
all  antiquity  this  tunic  was  used  by  the  Maya  women,  and  is 
still  by  the  aborigines  of  Yucatan,  Peten,  and  other  places  in 
Central  America.     It  is  called  uipil. 

The  name  Kar,  or  Carian,  certainly  is  identical  with  that 

of  the  warlike  nation  the  Caras,  whose  name  is  still  preserved 

in  that  of  the  Caribbean  Sea,  and  of  many  cities  and  places  in 

the  northern   parts  of    the   South   American  continent,   the 

■  Herodotus,  lib.  i.,  171. 

'  Strabo,  lib.  vii.,  p.  321  ;  lib.  xiii.,  p.  611. 

'  Thucydides,  History  of  tlie  Peloponnesian  War,  lib.  i.,  8. 

*  Herodotus,  lib.  i.,  171. 

'Ibid.,  lib.  v.,  87-88. 


Antilles,  and  the  coast  of  Honduras,  where  Carib  tribes  still 
exist.  These  Ca/ras,  once  neighbors  of  the  Mayas,  extended 
their  conquests  from  the  frontiers  of  Mayach  throughout  the 
southern  continent;  to  the  river  Plata,  east  of  the  Andes; 
to  Chile,  west  of  that  chain  of  mountains.  It  would  indeed 
be  very  difficult  to  explain  the  striking  similarity  of  abo- 
riginal names  of  pleices  and  tribes  still  used  in  the  countries 
known  to-day  as  Venezuela  and  Colombia,  and  those  of  locali- 
ties on  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean,  and  of  the  people  who 
dwelt  in  them,  except  through  the  intimate  relationship  of  the 
Carians  of  Asia  Minor  and  the  Caras  of  the  "  Lands  of  the 
"West."  Their  names  are  not  only  similar,  but,  on  both  sides 
of  the  Atlantic,  were  synonymous  of  "man,"  par  excellence, 
of  "eminent  warrior,"  endowed  with  great  dexterity  and 
extraordinary  power.'  When  the  Spaniards  landed  for  the 
first  time  in  America,  the  Caribs  of  the  islands  of  St.  Vin- 
cent and  Martinique  were  cannibals,  and  the  terror  of  their 

Lastly,  according  to  Max  Miiller,^  Philip  of  Theangela,  a 
Carian  historian,  says  that  the  idiom  of  the  Carians  was  mixed 
with  a  great  number  of  Greek  words.  But  Homer  represents 
them  among  the  earliest  inhabitants  of  Asia  Minor  and  of 
the  Grecian  peninsula,^  anterior,  consequently,  to  the  Hellenes, 
who  in  their  intercourse  with  them  would  naturally  have  made 
use  of  many  words  of  their  language  that  afterward  became 
engrafted  on  that  of  the  Greeks  themselves. 

For  the  present  we  shall  depart  from  the  eastern  shores  of 

'  Rochefort,  Histoire  Naturelle  et  Morale  des  Antilles,  p.  401.  D'Orbigny, 
Vllomme  Americatn,  vol.  ii.,  p.  268.  Alcedo,  Diccionario  Oeografico  e  Histo- 
rico  de  las  Indias  Occidentales. 

'  Max  Miillcr,  Fragments,  Hist.  Orac,  vol.  iv.,  p.  475. 

'  Homer,  Iliad,  X.,  428-429. 

Page  64. 

Plate  XXII. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  65 

the  Mediterranean  and  from  Egypt,  which  we  shall  revisit  later 
on.  Before  returning  to  Mayach  let  us  again  ask,  This  per- 
fect identity  of  Maya,  Hindoo,  Chaldean,  and  Egyptian 
cosmogonic  notions ;  these  Maya  words  that  form  the  names 
of  places,  nations,  and  gods,  descriptive  of  their  attributes  or 
characteristics,  in  India,  Chaldea,  Phoenicia,  and  Egypt — are 
they  mere  coincidences  ? 


In  our  journey  westward  across  the  Atlantic  we  shall  pass 
in  sight  of  that  spot  where  once  existed  the  pride  and  life  of 
the  ocean,  the  Land  of  Mu,  which,  at  the  epoch  that  we  have 
been  considering,  had  not  yet  been  visited  by  the  wrath  of 
Homen,  that  lord  of  volcanic  fires  to  whose  fury  it  afterward 
fell  a  victim.  The  description  of  that  land  given  to  Solon  by 
Sonchis,  priest  at  Sais ;  its  destruction  by  earthquakes,  and  sub- 
mergence, recorded  by  Plato  in  his  "  Timseus,"  have  been  told 
and  retold  so  many  times  that  it  is  useless  to  encumber  these 
pages  with  a  repetition  of  it.  I  shall  therefore  content  myself 
with  mentioning  that  the  ten  provinces  which  formed  the 
country,^  that  Plato  says  Kronos  divided  among  his  ten  sons,' 
were  thickly  populated,  and  that  the  black  race  seems  to  have 
predominated.  We  shall  not  tarry  in  Ziiiaau,  "  the  scor- 
pion," longer  than  to  inquire  if,  perchance,  the  Egyptian  god- 
dess Selk,  whose  title  was  "the  great  reptile,"  directress  of 
the  hooks,  whose  office  was  principally  in  the  regions  of  the 

'  Troano  MS.,  part  ii.,  plate  v. 
'  Plato,  Timcms. 



Amenti — that  is,  in  the  "  Lands  of  the  "West  " — where  she  was 
employed  in  noting  on  the  palm,  branch  of  Thoth  the  years 
of  human  -life,  was  not  a  deification  of  the  jtio^ 
West  Indies  of  our  day. 

Selk  was  also  called  the  lady  of  letters, 
from  which  she  appears  to  have  been  the  goddess 
of  writing  y  ^  and  her  emblem  was  placed  over 
the  doors  of  libraries,  as  the  keeper  of  iooks. 

"What  connection  could  possibly  have  existed, 
in  the  mind  of  Egyptian  wise  men,  between  a 
scorpion,  the  letters  of  the  alphabet,  and  the 
art  of  writing,  Egyptologists  do  not  inform  us. 
Still  they  did  nothing  concerning  their  sym- 
bols and  their  deities  without  a  motive.  In 
thus  making  Selk  the  goddess  of  writing,  and 
symbolizing  her  as  a  scorpion,  did  they  intend  to  indicate  that 
the  art  of  writing  and  knowledge  of  the  books  came  to 
them  from  the  "  Lands  of  the  "West,"  and  take  the  shape  of 
the  West  Indies  as  emblem  of  said  lands  ? 

This  suggestion  seems  plausible  if  we  consider  that  they 
figured  the  land  of  PseV  as  a  scorpion,  and  that,  from  the 
general  contour  of  the  group  of  islands  known  to  us  as  the 
West  Indies,  the  Mayas  called  them  Zinaan,  the  "  scor- 
pion."' But  Zinaan  means  also  an  "accent,"  a  "mark  in 
writing."     (See  Plate  V.) 

As  to  the  name  Selk,  it  may  have  been  suggested  by  the 
color  of  the  black  ink  used  in  writing,  or  by  the  name  of  the 
large  black  scorpion  quite  abundant  in  Central  America.    Eek 


'  Wilkinson,  Manners  aiid  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  chap.  xiii. 

''Hid.,  p.  169  (note).     Cliiimpollion  2e j«Mn«,  Pantheon,  plate  xv. 

'  Ubi  supra.  Introduction,  pp.  xli-lx. 

68  QUEEN  m60  and   TEE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

means  "  black"  in  Maya.  If  to  designate  the  name  of  a  god- 
dess we  prefix  the  word  with  the  feminine  article  X  (English 
sh),  we  have  X-Eek,  that  may  easily  become  Sellc.  Ekchucli 
is  the  name  of  the  black  scorpion.  X-Ekchuch  would  be  that 
of  the  female  black  scorpion.  From  it  the  name  of  the  Egyp- 
tian goddess  of  writing  and  the  connection  of  the  scorpion  with 
letters  may  easily  be  derived. 

From  Zinaan  we  set  sail  for  the  nearest  seaport  in 
Mayacli.  It  is  Tulum,  a  fortified  place,  as  the  name  in- 
dicates, situated  in  lat.  N.  20°  11'  60"  and  long.  W.  87°  26'  55" 
from  Greenwich.  Its  ruins,  seen  from  afar,  serve  yet  as  a  land- 
mark to  mariners  navigating  the  waters  of  the  eastern  coast  of 
the  peninsula  of  Yucatan. 

Proceeding  thence  inland,  in  a  direction  west  eight  de- 
grees north,  one  hundred  and  twenty  miles  as  the  crow  flies, 
we  reach  the  city  of  Chicllen  Avhence  we  started  on  our 
voyage  of  circumnavigation. 

Page  69. 

Plate  XXIII. 


It  is  well  that  we  now  return  with  a  knowledge  of  the 
myths  of  the  Hindoos  and  the  Egyptians  regarding  creation. 
We  shall  need  them  to  comprehend  the  meaning  of  the  tableau 
over  the  doorway  of  the  east  facade  of  the  palace.  Many 
have  looked  at  it  since,  toward  the  beginning  of  the  Christian 
era,  the  wise  Itzaes  abandoned  the  city  when  it  was  sacked  and 
devastated  by  barbaric  N"ahuatl  tribes  coming  from  the  south. 
How  many  have  understood  its  meaning,  and  the  teaching  it 
embodies?^  Very  few,  indeed;  otherwise  they  would  have 
respected  instead  of  defacing  it. 

Among  the  modern  Americanists  and  professors  of  Ameri- 
can archseology,  even  those  who  pretend  to  be  authorities  as  to 
things  pertaining  to  the  ancient  Mayas  and  their  civilization, 
how  many  are  there  who  understand  and  can  explain   the 

'  In  order  to  thoroughly  apprehend  the  full  meaning  of  this  most  inter- 
esting cosmic  relation,  it  is  necessary  to  be  versed  in  occultism,  even  as 
taught  by  the  Brahmins  and  other  wise  men  of  India.  Occultists  will  not 
fail  to  comprehend  the  teaching  conveyed  in  this  sculpture,  which  teaching 
proves  that,  in  very  remote  ages,  the  Maya  sages  had  intimate  couimuui- 
cations  with  those  of  India  and  other  civilized  countries. 

70  QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

lessons  that  the  Maya  philosophers  in  remote  ages  have  in- 
trusted to  stone  in  this  tableau,  for  the  benefit  and  instruction 
of  the  generations  that  were  to  follow  after  them  ? 

No  one  has  ever  ventured  an  explanation  of  it.  And  yet  it 
contains  no  mystery.  Its  teaching  is  easily  read ;  the  explana- 
tory legends  being  written  in  Egyptian  characters,  that,  how- 
ever, are  likewise  Maya. 

If  we  ask  the  Brahmins  to  explain  it,  they  will  tell  us: 
At  the  beginning  of  the  first  chapter  of  the  "  Manava-Dharma- 
Sastra  " — a  book  compiled,  according  to  Mr.  Chezy,^  from  very 
ancient  works  of  the  Brahmins,  about  thirteen  hundred  years 
before  the  Christian  era — we  read:  "  The  Supreme  Spirit  fuming 
resolved  to  cause  to  come  forth  from  its  own  corporeal  substance 
the  divers  creatures,  first  produced  the  waters,  and  in  them  de- 
posited a  productive  seed.  This  germ  hecame  an  egg,  hriUiant  as 
gold,  resplendent  as  a  star  with  thousands  of  rays  /  and  in  this 
egg  was  reproduced  the  Supreme  Being,  under  the  form  of 
Brahma,  the  ancestor  of  all  heings. ' '  ^ 

An  analysis  of  the  tableau  shows  this  quotation  from  the 
Brahministic  book  to  be  an  explanation  of  it,  although  not 
quite  complete.  But  we  find  the  balance  of  the  description  in 
Eusebius's  "Evangelical  Preparations." 

We  are  told  that  the  Supreme  Intelligence  first  produced 
the  waters.  The  watery  element  is  represented  in  the  sculp- 
tures in  Mayacli,  Egypt,  Babylonia,  India,  etc. ,  by  superposed 
wavy  or  broken  lines  ^i^^^^^^.  These  lines  form  the  rim, 
or  frame,  of  the  tableau,  surrounding  it  nearly,  as  the  water 
encircles  the  land:  It  is  well  to  notice  that  the  upper  line 
of  water  is  opened  in  the  middle,   and  that   each   part  ter- 

'  Chfizy,  Journal  des  Savants,  1831 ;  also  H.  T.  Colebrooke. 
'  Manava-Dharma-Sastra,  lib.  i.,  Slokas  8-9. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  71 

minates  in  a  serpent  head;  also,  that  the  distance  between 
said  serpent  heads  is  two-fifths  of  the  whole  hne.  Is  this  with- 
out significance  ?  Certainly  not.  Everything  has  its  meaning 
in  the  Maya  sculptures.  Did  the  learned  men  of  Mayach 
know  that  the  waters  cover  about  three-fifths  of  the  earth, 
the  land  only  two-fifths  ?  And  why  not  ?  Do  we  not  know 
it?  "Were  not  their  people  navigators?  It  may  be  asked. 
What  is  the  meaning  of  the  serpent  heads  at  the  extremity  of 
the  lines,  symbol  of  water?  Are  they  merely  ornamental? 
By  no  means.  They  indicate  that  said  lines  represent  the 
ocean,  kanali  in  Maya,  the  "great,  the  mighty  serpent;" 
image,  among  the  Mayas,  Quiches,  and  other  tribes  aUied  to 
them,  as  among  the  Egyptians,  of  the  Creator,  whose  emblem 
(says  HorapoUo)  was  a  serpent  of  a  blue  color  with  yellow 
scales.  Can,  we  know,  means  "serpent,"  but  kan  is  Maya 
for  "yellow."  Kanali,  the  ocean,  might  therefore  be  inter- 
preted metaphorically  "the  powerful  yellow  serpent."'  We 
read  in  the ' '  Popol- Yuh, ' '  sacred  book  of  the  Quiches,  regarding 
Gucicmatz,  the  principle  of  all  things,  manifesting  at  the  dawn 
of  creation:  ^  "  All  was  immobility  and  silence  in  the  darkness, 
in  the  night;  only  the  Creator,  the  Maker,  the  Dominator, 
the  Serpent  covered  with  feathers,  they  who  engender,  they 
who  create,  were  on  the  waters  as  an  ever-increasing  light. 
They  are  surrounded  by  green  and  azure;  their  name  is  Grucu- 
matz."  Compare  this  conception  of  chaos  and  the  dawn  of 
creation  among  the  Quiches,  with  that  of  the  Hindoos  as  we 
read  of  it  in  the  "  Aitareya-A'ran'ya:  "  ^  "  Originally  this  uni- 
verse was  only  a  soul.    Nothing  active  or  inactive  existed.    The 

'  See  Appendix,  note  vii,,  p.  186. 
'  Popol-Vuh,  lib.  i.,  chap.  i. 

'  H.  T.  Colebrooke,  Notice  on  the  Sacred  Books  of  the  Hindoos,  Aitareya- 
A'ran'ya,  lib.  ii.,  g  iv. 


thought  came  to  Him,  I  wish  to  create  worlds.  And  so  He 
created  these  worlds,  the  water,  the  light,  the  mortal  beings, 
and  the  waters.  That  water  is  the  region  above;  the  sky  that 
supports  it;  the  atmosphere  that  contains  the  light;  the  earth 
that  is  perishable;  and  the  lower  regions  that  of  the  waters." 

On  the  first  of  the  tablets  inscribed  with  the  cosmogony  of 
the  Chaldeans,  found  in  the  Library  of  the  palace  of  King 
Assurbanipal,  at  Nineveh,  we  read  the  following  lines,  trans- 
lated by  the  late  Mr.  George  Smith:  "  At  a  time  when  neither 
the  heavens  above  nor  the  earth  below  existed,  there  was  the 
watery  abyss;  the  first  of  seed,  the  mistress  of  the  depths, 
the  mother  of  the  universe.  The  waters  clung  together  (cov- 
ered everything).  No  product  had  ever  been  gathered,  nor 
was  any  sprout  seen.  Ay,  the  very  gods  had  not  yet  come 
into  being."  .  .  .  On  the  third  tablet  it  is  related  how 
' '  the  gods  are  preparing  for  a  grand  contest  against  a  monster 
known  as  Tidmat,  '  the  depths,'  and  how  the  god  BeJ- 
Marduk  overthrows  Tidmat. ' ' 

My  readers  wiU  forgive  me  for  indulging  here  in  a  short 
digression  that  may  seem  unnecessary,  but  it  is  well  to  add  to 
the  proofs  already  adduced  to  show  that,  at  some  remote  epoch, 
the  primitive  Chaldeans  must  have  had  intimate  relations  with 
Maya  colonists;  and  that  these  were  a  great  factor  in  the 
development  of  the  civilization  of  the  Babylonians,  to  whom 
they  seem  to  have  imparted  their  religious  and  cosmogonic 
notions.  The  names  Tidmat  and  JBel-Marduh  add  corrobora- 
tive evidence  to  confirm  this  historical  truth,  since  no  language 
except  the  Maya  ofl^ers  such  a  natural  etjnnon  and  simple 
explanation  of  their  meaning. 

Tidinut,  "the  depths,"  is  a  Maya  word  composed  of  the 
four  primitives,  ti,  ha,  ma,  ti  (that  is,  ti,  "there;"  ha, 

QUEEN  m60  and   TEE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  73 

"water;"   ma,  "without;"  ti,  "land"),  Tihamati ;  by 

elision,  Tihamat,  or  be  it  Tidmat,  "everywhere  water,  no- 
where land,"  the  "deep." 

As  to  the  name  Bel-MarduTc  (in  Maya)  it  would  read  Bel- 
Maltuuc ;  that  is,  Bel,  "occupation,"  "business;"  mal  is 
a  particle  that,  united  to  a  noun,  indicates  "  the  act  of  multi- 
plying," of  "doing  many  things;"  tuucul  is  a  "mass  of 
things  placed  in  order."  Bel-Maltuvic  or  'KfA.-Marduk 
would  be  a  most  appropriate  name  for  one  whose  business 
seems  to  have  been  to  put  in  order  all  the  things  that  existed 
confusedly  in  chaos. 

Mr.  Morris  Jastrow,  Jr.,  in  an  article  in  the  Century 
Magazine  for  January,  1894,'  says  that  the  word  tehom  occurs 
both  in  the  cuneiform  tablets  and  in  Genesis  with  the  mean- 
ing of  "  the  deep,"  which  is  precisely  its  import  in  the  Maya 
language — te  or  ti,  ' '  where ; ' '  hoiii, ' '  abyss  without  bottom. ' ' 

E-eturning  to  the  comparison  of  the  cosmogonic  notions  of 
the  various  civilized  nations  of  antiquity,  we  find  that  Thales,  like 
all  the  ancient  philosophers,  regarded  water  as  the  primordial 
substance,  in  the  midst  of  which  the  "  Great  Soul"  deposited 
a  germ  that  became  an  egg,  briUiant  as  gold  and  resplendent 
as  a  star  with  a  thousand  rays,  as  we  read  in  the  first  book 
of  the  "  Manava-Dharma-Sastra, "  and  we  see  represented  in 
the  tableau  over  the  door  of  the  east  fa9ade  of  the  palace  at 
Chicllen.  (Plate  XXIII.)  In  this  egg  was  reproduced  the 
Supreme  Being  under  the  form  of  Brahma,  through  whose 
union  with  the  goddess  Maya,  the  good  mother  of  aU  gods  and 
other  beings,  all  things  were  created,  says  the  "  Eig-veda. "  ^ 

'  Morris  Jastrow,  Jr.,  "The  Bible  and  the  Assyrian  Monuments,"  New 
York,   Century  Magazine.,  January,  1894. 

'^  Eig-veda,  Langlois'  translation,  sect,  vili.,  lect.  3,  h.  ii.,  v.  i.,  vol.  iv. 
pp.  316-317. 

74  QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

The  inhabitants  of  the  islands  of  the  Pacific  entertained 
similar  notions  regarding  creation.  Ellis  in  his  "Polynesian 
Researches  "  says: '  "  In  the  Sandwich  Islands  there  is  a  tradi- 
tion that  in  the  beginning  there  was  nothing  but  water,  when 
a  big  bird  descended  from  on  high  and  laid  an  egg  in  the  sea. 
That  egg  burst,  and  Hawaii  came  forth."  They  believe  that 
the  bird  is  an  emblem  of  deity ;  a  medium  through  which  the 
gods  often  communicate  with  men. 

It  is  well  not  to  forget  that  the  Egyptians  also  caused  Ptah, 
the  Creator,  to  be  born  from  an  egg  issued  from  the  mouth  of 
Kneph,  the  ruling  spirit  of  the  universe,  whose  emblem  was  an 
enormous  blue  serpent  with  yellow  scales;  that  is,  the  ocean. 

The  learned  men  of  Mayach  always  described  with  ap- 
propriate inscriptions  the  notions,  cosmogonic  or  others,  or 
the  religious  conceptions  that  they  portrayed  in  the  sculptures ; 
ornamenting  with  them  the  walls  of  their  public  edifices,  not 
only  to  generalize  them  among  their  contemporaries,  but  to 
transmit  them  to  future  generations  in  a  lasting  manner.  They 
did  not  fail  to    ■— ^     do  it  in  this  instance. 

The  legend  <. on  either  side  of   the  egg  teUs  who  is 

the  personage    1^3     seated  therein.      It  is  composed  of  the 

characters  ^ four  times  repeated,  for  the  symmetry  of  the 

drawing,  '— — ^  and  to  emphasize  the  meaning  of  the  word, 
as  well  as  to  indicate  the  exalted  quality  of  said  personage. 
ChampoUion  le  jeune  tells  us  that  in  Egj^Dt  this  very  combi- 
nation of  letters  means  "  the  engendered. "  ^  These  letters  em- 
phatically belong  to  the  alphabet  of  the  Mayas.  The  sign 
/~~~,  or  be  it,  N  that  stands  for  our  Latin  21,  represented 

'  Ellis,  Polynesian  Researches,  vol.  i.,  chap,  v.,  p.  100. 
'  ChampoUion   le  jeune,  Precis  du  Systeme  Hieroglyphique  des  Aiiciens 


the  contour  of  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan.  It  is  pronounced  ma 
in  Egyptian  as  in  Maya,  and  means,  in  both  languages, ' '  place, ' ' 
"land."  Why  this  sign,  with  that  meaning,  in  Egypt? 
Can  learned  Egyptologists  tell  ?  In  Mayacli  it  is  the  radical 
ma  of  the  name  of  the  country ;  it  is  a  contraction  of  mam, 
the  "ancestor,"  the  "earth."  The  sign  I  — i  ,  so  frequent  in 
all  the  ancient  edifices  of  the  Mayas,  is  the  letter  correspond- 
ing to  our  Latin  H,  with  these  and  the  Egyptians.  If  to  these 
characters  we  add  the  letter  /VVAAA/\  N,  forming  the  border, 
we  have  the  word  /  |  — i  AAAA/v\  mehen,  which  in  Maya 
means,  as  in  Egyptian,  the  "  son,"  the  "  engendered."  '  But 
mehen  was  the  name  of  the  serpent  represented  over  the  head 
of  the  god  Kneph,  the  creator.  According  to  Mr.  Samuel  Birch, 
said  serpent  was  termed  in  Egyptian  texts  "proceeding  from 
what  is  in  the  abyss."  In  the  egg,  behind  the  engendered,  the 
scales  of  the  serpent's  belly  form  a  background  to  the  figure. 
To  complete  the  explanation  of  the  tableau  we  must  ask 
Eusebius's  help.  In  his  "  Evangelical  Preparations  "  -  he  tells 
us  that  the  Egyptians  "  represented  the  Creator  of  the  world, 
whom  they  called  Knejph,  under  a  human  form,  with  the  flesh 
painted  blue,  a  belt  surrounding  his  waist,  holding  a  sceptre  in 
his  hand,  his  head  being  adorned  with  a  royal  headdress  orna- 
mented with  a  plume. "  Were  I  to  describe  minutel}^  the  figure 
within  the  Qgg,  I  could  not  do  it  better.  Although  much 
mutilated  by  iconoclasts,  it  is  easy  to  perceive  that  once  it 
was  painted  blue,  to  indicate  his  exalted  and  holy  character ; 
around  the  waist  he  wears  a  puyvit,  or  loin  cloth,  and  his  head 
is  stiU  adorned  with  a  huge  plume,  worn  among  the  Mayas 
by  personages  of  high  rank. 

'  Pedro  Beltran,  Arte  del  Idioma  Maya.    Pio  Perez,  Maya  dictionary. 
'^  Eusebius,  Prmp.  Evang.,  lib.  iii.,  p.  315. 


Lastly,  it  is  well  to  notice  that  there  are  forty-two  rays 
around  the  cosmic  egg.  Those  versed  in  the  knowledge  of  the 
Kabbalah  wiU  say  that  the  number  of  the  rays,  twenty-one, 
placed  on  each  side  of  the  egg,  was  not  used  arbitrarily,  but 
as  an  emblem  of  the  Creator,  Jehovah  ;  that,  if  we  consider 
the  numerical  value  of  the  Hebrew  letters  composing  it,  his 
name  in  numbers  will  read  Jod,  10 ;  He,  6 ;  and  Vav,  5 ;  that 
is,  10,  6,  5,'  the  sum  of  which  is  21  =  3  x  7,  the  trinity  and  the 

The  rabbis,  says  J.  Ealston  Skinner,'  extol  these  numbers 
so  beyond  all  others,  that  they  pretend  "  that  by  their  uses 
and  permutations,  under  the  cabalistic  law  of  T^mura — that  is, 
of  permutation — the  knowledge  of  the  entire  universe  may  be 

The  number  of  the  assessors  who,  according  to  the  Egyp- 
tians, assisted  Osiris,  when  sitting  in  judgment  upon  the  souls 
in  Amenti,  was,  it  will  be  remembered,  42 ;  that  is,  21  x  2.  But 
these  twenty-one  rays  on  each  side  of  the  cosmic  egg  also  call 

'  The  reader's  attention  is  liere  called  to  the  following  interesting  facts 
■which  show  the  origin  of  the  British  foot-measure  of  diaiension.  The  half 
of  1056  is  528.  This  number  multiplied  by  10  gives  5280,  the  length  in  feet 
of  the  British  mile.  By  permutation  528  becomes  825.  But  8.25  feet  is  the 
length  of  half  a  rod,  whilst  5280  x  8.35  feet  is  the  area  in  feet  of  one  acre. 

In  the  drawing  of  their  plans  the  builders  of  the  great  pyramid  of  Egypt 
and  those  of  the  pyramids  of  Mayacll  made  use  of  these  numbers.  AH 
the  most  ancient  pyramids  in  Yucatan  are  twenty-one  metres  high,  the  side 
of  the  base  being  forty-two  metres.  Tlieir  vertical  section  was  conse- 
quently drawn  so  as  to  be  inscribed  within  the  circumference  of  a  circle 
having  a  radius  of  twenty-one  metres,  whose  diameter  formed  the  base  line 
of  the  monument. 

'  J.  Ralston  Skinner,  "  Hebrew  Metrology,"  p.  6,  Masonic  Review,  July, 
1885.  "For  the  ratio  113  to  355  multiplied  by  3  equals  339  to  1065.  The 
entire  circumference  will  be  1065  x  2  =  2130,  of  which  213  is  factor  with  10. 
And  213  is  the  first  word  of  Genesis;  viz.,  Rash,  or  'head,'  from  whence 
the  entire  book." 

Page  77. 

Plate  XXIV. 


to  mind  the  twentj-oiLQ  prajapati,  or  creators,  mentioned  in  the 
"Mahabharata;  "  and  the  twenty-one  words  constituting  the 
most  sacred  prayer  of  the  followers  of  Zoroaster,  still  in  use 
by  the  Parsis. 

On  each  side  of  the  Creator,  outside  of  the  lower  line  of 
the  border  of  the  tableau,  is  the  figure  of  a  monkey  in  a  sit- 
ting posture  and  in  the  act  of  adoration.  We  learn  from  the 
"  Popol-Vuh  "  that  in  his  attempts  to  produce  &  perfect  man,  an 
intellectual  creature,  the  Creator  failed  repeatedly,  and  each 
time,  disgusted  with  his  work,  he  destroyed  the  results  of  his 
early  experiments;  that  at  last  he  succeeded  in  making  a 
human  being  nearly  perfect,  but  yet  wanting.  This  primitive 
race  of  man  having  grown  proud  and  wicked,  forgetful  of  their 
Creator,  to  whom  they  ceased  to  pay  due  homage,  the  majority 
of  them  were  destroyed  by  floods  and  earthquakes.  The  few 
that  escaped  by  taking  refuge  on  the  mountains  were  changed 
into  monkeys.^  This  is  perhaps  the  reason  why  simians  were 
held  in  great  veneration  by  the  Mayas.     (Plate  XXIY.) 

It  is  indeed  worthy  of  notice,  although  it  may  be  a  mere 
coincidence,  that,  wherever  Maya  civilization  has  penetrated, 
there  also  ape  worship  has  existed  from  the  remotest  antiquity, 
and  does  still  exist  where  ancient  religious  rites  and  customs 
are  observed. 

In  Hindostan,  some  nations  hold  the  same  belief  concerning 
monkeys  that  we  read  of  in  the  sacred  book  of  the  Quiches, 
to  wit:  "  That  formerly  men  were  changed  into  apes  as  a  pun- 
ishment for  their  iniquities."  The  ape  god  Ilanuman,  who 
rendered  such  valuable  assistance  to  Rama  in  the  recovery  of  his 
wife  Sita  when  she  was  abducted  by  Eavana^^  is  stiU  held  in 

'  Popol-Vuh,  Brasseur  translation,  part  i.,  chap,  iii.,  p.  31. 
'  Valmiki,  Eamayana,  part  i.,  p.   343,  et  passim.     French  translation  by 
Hippolyto  Fauchfi. 


great  veneration  in  the  Asiatic  peninsula  and  the  island  of  Cey- 
lon. Pompous  homage  is  paid  to  him.  The  pagodas  in  which 
he  is  worshipped  are  adorned  with  the  utmost  magnificence. 
When  in  1554  the  Portuguese  made  a  descent  upon  that  island, 
they  plundered  the  temple  of  the  ape  god  Thoth,  and  made 
themselves  masters  of  immense  riches.  I  beg  to  call  the  atten- 
tion of  the  reader  to  the  name  of  this  ape  god,  for  whose  ran- 
som an  Indian  prince  offered  the  viceroy  of  G-oa  seven  hundred 
thousand  ducats.  It  was  likemse  that  of  the  "god  of  letters 
and  wisdom,"  represented  as  a  cynocephalus  monkey,  among 
the  Egyptians.  Is  this  also  a  coincidence  ?  The  Maya  word 
Thoth  means  to  "scatter"  flowers  or  grain.  Might  it  not 
mean,  metaphorically,  to  scatter  letters — knowledge  ?  As  sym- 
bol of  the  "god  of  letters  "  the  cynocephalus  ape  was  treated 
with  great  respect  in  many  cities  of  Egypt;  but  at  Hermopolis 
it  was  particularly  worshipped,^  whilst  in  the  Necropolis  of 
Thebes  a  spot  was  reserved  as  cemetery  for  the  sacred  mon- 
keys, whose  mummies  were  always  placed  in  a  sitting  posture, 
as  the  bodies  of  deceased  persons  in  Mayach,  Peru,  and  manj" 
other  countries  in  the  Western  Continent. 

In  the  ancient  city  of  Gopan,  in  Guatemala,  the  cynoceph- 
alus was  frequently  represented  in  the  sculptures  of  the  tem- 
ples, in  an  attitude  of  prayer.  There,  as  at  Thebes,  those 
monkeys  were  buried  in  stone  tombs,  in  which  their  skeletons 
have  been  found  in  perfect  preservation. 

Fray  Geronimo  Poman,  a  Avi'iter  of  the  sixteenth  century,-^ 
and  other  chroniclers,  inform  us  that  monkeys  received  divine 
worship  in  Yucatan  under  the  names  of  Baat)  and  Chueii, 

'  Strabo,  XVII.,  p.  559. 

^  Fray  Geronimo  Roman,  Uepuhlica  de  las  Indias  Occidentalea,  lib.  ii., 
cap.  XV. 

QUEEN  m60  and   TEE  EQTPTIAN  SPHINX.  79 

Avhose  images  are  often  found  in  the  temples  of  the  Mayas,  in 
a  kneeling  posture  (as  in  Plate  XXIV.). 

The  ape  was  also  held  sacred  in  Babylonia.  In  Japan  there 
is  a  sumptuous  temple  dedicated  to  monkey  worship.  It  is 
said  that  the  Japanese  believe  that  the  bodies  of  apes  are  in- 
habited by  the  souls  of  deceased  grandees  and  princes  of  the 
empire.  Is  not  this  great  veneration  for  monkeys  a  form  of 
ancestor  worship  ?  The  Darwinian  theory  of  evolution  does 
not  seem  to  be  so  very  modern,  after  all.  The  study  of  the  first 
chapters  of  the  "  Popol-Yuh  "  will  convince  any  one  that  some 
of  the  ancient  Maya  scientists  had  reached  the  same  conclusions 
as  some  of  the  learned  philosophers  of  our  day  regarding  the 
unfolding  of  animated  beings — of  man,  consequently.  It  would 
seem  that  Solomon  had  some  reason  in  saying,  and  that  we 
may  repeat  after  him,  "There  is  nothing  new  under  the 
sun."  ^ 

There  are  many  other  interesting  facts  to  be  learned  from 
the  study  of  the  sculptures  that  embellish  the  eastern  facade 
of  the  palace  at  Chichen.  But  as  they  have  no  direct  bear- 
ing on  the  object  of  our  present  investigation,  we  shall  turn 
away  from  that  edifice,  and,  taking  a  northern  direction,  in- 
dulge in  an  agreeable  walk  of  half  a  mile,  under  secular  trees, 
through  the  forest,  to  return  to  Prince  Coil's  memorial  hall, 
whence  we  started ;  for  we  have  yet  to  glean  much  information 
from  its  contents. 

During  our  promenade,  protected  from  the  fiery  rays  of  the 
tropical  sun  by  the  thick  foliage  overhead,  enjoying  the  delight- 
ful coolness  that  perpetually  prevails  in  the  Yucatan  forests, 
we  let  our  thoughts  wander.  But  they  naturally  revert  to  the 
tableau  of  creation  and  the  strange  facts  it  has  revealed  to  us, 
'  Ecclesiastes,  cliapter  i.,  verse  9. 


and  we  ask  ourselves:  Did  the  Mayas  receive  all  these  teach- 
ings from  the  Egyptians,  or  the  Chaldeans,  or  the  Hindoos,  as 
some  want  us  to  believe?  If  so,  when  and  how?  Or  did 
Maya  missionaries,  abandoning  their  country  as  apostles  of 
religion,  civilization,  and  science,  carry  their  knowledge  among 
these  various  nations  and  impart  it  to  them  ? 

Page  81. 

Plate  XXV. 


The  study  of  the  atlantes  that  supported  the  table  of  the 
altar  at  the  entrance  of  the  funeral  chamber  is  most  interest- 
ing. In  these,  and  in  the  portraits  of  personages  carved  on  the 
pillars  and  antse  of  the  portico  and  the  jambs  of  the  doorway, 
the  ethnologist  can  study  the  features  of  the  ancient  Mayas, 
and,  perhaps,  discover  the  race  to  which  they  belonged.  What- 
ever this  may  have  been,  one  fact  is  evident — the  Mayas  did 
not  deform  their  skulls  artificially,  as  did  the  inhabitants  of 
Copan  and  Palenque.  These,  therefore,  were  not  Mayas. 
Their  mode  of  writing  was  not  Maya;  their  language  was 
most  probably  different  from  the  Maya ;  consequently  it  is 
absurd  to  try  to  interpret  the  inscriptions  left  by  them,  as  the 
late  Professor  Charles  Eau,^  of  the  Smithsonian  Institution, 
Mess.  Hyacinthe  de  Charancey'  and  Leon  de  Eosny,  in 
France,'  and  others,  have  done.     Being  unable  to  read  one 

'  Charles  Rau,  Tablet  of  Palenque,  chap.  v.  Aboriginal  Writings  of  Mex- 
ico, Yucatan,  and  Central  America.     Smithsonian  Institution's  publications. 

'  Hyacinthe  de  Charencey,  Easai  de  Dechiffrement  afun  Vragment  d' Inscrip- 
tion Palenquenne,  torn.  1,  No.  3,  Mars,  187G.  Actes  de  la  Societe  Philologique, 
p.  56. 

^  L(3on  de  Rosny,  Essai  sur  le  Dechiffrement  de  VJ&criture  Hieratique  de 
VAmerique  Gentrale,  p.  13. 


single  sentence  of  those  inscriptions,  how  can  these  gentlemen 
assert  that  they  are  written  in  the  Maya  language  ?  Because 
a  few  characters  resemble  the  Maya  ?  What  does  that  prove  ? 
English,  French,  Spanish,  Italian,  and  other  modern  languages 
are  all  written  with  Latin  letters :  does  that  mean  that  they  are 
one  and  the  same  ? 

It  is  not  easy  to  surmise  what  common  relationship  can 
possibly  be  claimed  to  have  existed  between  the  squat-figured, 
coarse-featured,  large-nosed,  thick-lipped,  flat-headed  people, 
with  bulging  eyes,  represented  in  the  stucco  bas-reliefs  of 
Palenque,  whose  "heads,  so  very  unusual,  not  to  say  unnat- 
ural," have  been  compared  with  those  of  the  Huns;^  or  the 
short-statured  individuals  Avith  round  heads,  oval  faces,  high 
cheek  bones,  flat  noses,  large  gaping  mouths,  small  oblique 
ej'es,  portrayed  on  the  obelisks  of  Copan  and  Quirigua,  that 
recall  the  Tartar  or  Manchu  type  (Plate  XXX. ) ;  and  the  good- 
looking  Mayas,  whose  regular  features,  lithe  figures  with 
well-proportioned  limbs,  finely  formed  heads,  high  foreheads, 
shapely  noses,  small  mouths  with  firm  thin  lips,  eyes  open, 
straight,  and  intelligent,  that  we  see  pictured  in  fresco  paint- 
ings or  sculptured  in  low  and  high  reliefs  and  statues.  (Plates 

JSTo  one,  surely,  will  pi'esume  to  maintain  that  they  belong 
to  the  same  family  or  race,  and  that  the  difference  in  their 
appearance  is  due  to  unknown  causes  that  have  effected  such  re- 
markable changes  at  various  periods  of  tlieir  national  existence. 

'  William  Burckhardt  Barker,  Lares  and  Penates,  or  Cilicia  and  its  Gov- 
ernors, chap.  iv.     Plate  XXIX. 

See  Appendix,  note  viii. 

John  Ranking,  Historical  Researches  on  the  Conquest  of  Peru,  Mexico,  etc., 
p.  275.  According  to  tiiis  author  the  builders  of  Palenque  were  Mongols. 
(A.  L.  P.) 

Page  S2. 

Plate  XXVI. 






.  /f  ' 

f  f 

pa!*;""  -       ,.  "^i  ^ 

'  / 


Page.  82. 

Plate  XXVI I. 



To-day  all  the  distinct  peculiarities  of  these  various  peoples 
are,  to  the  eye  of  the  careful  observer,  quite  as  noticeable, 
among  their  descendants,  as  of  yore,  notwithstanding  the  inter- 
marriages that  have  inevitably  occurred  between  the  different 
races,  particularly  since  the  Spanish  conquest. 

Again,  the  atlantes  and  the  bas-reliefs  on  the  pillars  show 
the  mode  of  dress  in  vogue  among  the  higher  classes  of  the 

Standard-liearer.  Mode  of  carrying  shield  among  the  Mayas. 


Mayas  in  remote  ages,  the  ornaments  they  wore,  and  many 
of  their  customs,  whose  identity  with  those  of  far-distant 
nations  cannot  be  ascribed  to  mere  coincidence.  These  may 
also  guide  the  ethnologist. 

For  the  present  purpose,  it  will  suffice  to  mention  various 
practices  observed  at  funerals  both  by  the  Mayas  and  the 
Egyptians.     Among  the  figures  that  supported  the  table  of  the 

'  See  the  various  jilates  from  the  fresco  paintings  in  Prince  Coil's  Memo- 
rial Hall  at  Cliicheii  (Plates  XXXIX. -LI.). 


altar,  there  were  some  intended  to  represent  women.  From 
these  we  learn  that  Maya  matrons,  to  betoken  grief,  covered 
the  right  side  of  their  face  with  their  hair.  Sir  Gardner 
"Wilkinson,*  speaking  of  the  funeral  customs  of  the  Egyptians, 
says:  "  Married  women  alone  were  permitted  to  wear  the  ma- 
gasies,  or  ringlets,  at  the  side  of  the  face.  The  hair  was  bound 
at  the  end  with  a  string,  like  the  plaits  at  the  back  of  the 
head,  so  as  to  cover  part  of  their  ear-ring." 

Macrobius,'  trying  to  explain  this  custom  of  Egyptian 
matrons,  says  it  was  in  imitation  of  the  images  of  the  sun,  in 
which  that  luminary  was  represented  as  a  human  head  having 
a  lock  of  hair  on  the  right  side  of  the  face.  This  lock,  he 
assumes,  was  emblematic  of  its  reappearance  after  being  con- 
cealed from  our  sight  at  its  setting,  or  of  its  return  to  the 

What  explanation  would  he  have  given  of  the  same  custom 
being  observed  among  the  Mayas,  had  he  known  of  it  ?  That 
it  existed  there  can  be  no  doubt;  the  portraits  of  the  two 
Maya  matrons  found  among  the  atlantes  of  the  altar  are  the 
best  proof  of  it.  (See  Plates  XXXI.-XXXII.,  which  are 
photographs  of  them.) 

The  practice  of  tying  their  dress  round  their  waist  and  of 
uncovering  their  breast  when  a  friend  died  ^  was  common  both 
to  the  Mayas  *  and  the  Egyptians.  The  dead  in  Egjqjt  were 
made  to  carry  round  their  neck  the  vase,  placed  on  the  scale  of 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  etc.,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xvi., 
p.  453  ;  also  vol.  i.,  chap.  xii. 

'  Macrobius,  Saturnaliorum,  etc.,  lib.  i.,  26. 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xvi.,  p. 

'  See  picture  of  Prince  Coli  being  prepared  for  cremation;  also  in 
Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  80. 

Page.  84. 

Plate  XXXI. 

Page  84- 

Plate  XXXII. 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  85 

judgment,  to  indicate  their  good  deeds.'  The  same  custom 
obtained  in  Mayach.  This  we  learn  from  the  various  statues 
of  personages  of  high  rank  discovered  at  Chicften  by  the 
writer — that  of  Prince  Coh  and  others.  They  invariably 
hold  between  their  hands  a  vase  placed  on  the  abdomen.  In 
Mayach  this  vase  was  typical  of  the  Gulf  of  Honduras. 
Whence  such  strange  customs  among  the  Egy3)tians?  Por- 
phyry tells  us^  that  in  Egypt,  "  "When  the  bodies  of  persons  of 
distinction  were  embalmed,  they  took  out  the  intestines  and 
put  them  into  a  vessel,  over  which  (after  some  other  rites  had 
been  performed  for  the  dead)  one  of  the  embalmers  pronounced 
an  invocation  to  the  sun  in  behalf  of  the  deceased."  These 
intestines,  with  the  other  viscera,  were  deposited  in  four  vases ; 
each  contained  a  separate  portion.  They  were  placed  in  the 
tomb  with  the  coffin,  and  were  supposed  to  belong  to  the  four 
genii  of  Amenti,  whose  heads  and  names  they  bore.^  These 
funeral  vases  were  called  ccmopi.^  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson 
asks,  "Why  call  these  funeral  y&sqb  ecmopi,  a  word  without 
an  etymon  in  the  Egyptian  language  ?  "  ^ 

For  the  answer  we  must  come  to  America.  In  ancient 
Peru  the  canopa  were  household  gods;  but  the  Quichua  offers 
no  explanation  of  the  name.  If  we  want  to  know  its  mean- 
ing we  must  inquire  from  the  learned  men  of  Mayach.  They 
will  tell  us  that,  in  remote  ages,  their  ancestors  imagined  that 
the  vault  of  heaven  was  sustained  on  four  pillars,  placed  one  at 
each  of  the  cardinal  points,  whose  names  were  Kan,  Muliic, 
Ix,  and  Cauac  ;  that  the  Creator  assigned  the  care  of  these 

'  Vyilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  etc.,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xvi.,  p.  470. 
'  Porphyry,  Be  Alstinencia,  lib.  iv.  10. 

*  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Oustoms,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xvi.,  p.  481. 

*  Ibid.,  p.  482. 
'  Ibid.,  p.  490. 


pillars  to  four  brothers,  whose  names  were  Kan-Bacab,  the 
yellow  Bacab,  who  stood  at  the  south ;  Chac-Bacab,  the  red 
Bacab,  who  occupied  the  east;  Zac-Bacab,  the  white  Bacab, 
to  whom  was  intrusted  the  north ;  and  Ek-Bacab,  the  black 
Bacab,  whose  place  was  the  west.  They  were  held  in  great 
veneration,  and  regarded  as  the  genii  of  the  wind.'  These 
learned  men  will  also  inform  us  that  those  powerful  genii  were 
represented  by  four  jars  with  narrow  necks,  surmounted  by 
human  heads,^  which  jars,  during  certain  religious  ceremonies, 
were  filled  with  water,  and  caUed  Canob,  that  is,  the  "  Four," 
the  "strong,"  the  "mighty."^  From  the  Maya  Canob  the 
Egyptians  no  doubt  called  canopi  the  four  vases  in  which  were 
deposited  the  entrails  of  the  dead.  Do  not  these  four  Bacabs 
recall  the  four  gods  of  the  Hindoo  mythology  who  preside  at 
the  four  cardinal  points — Indra,  the  king  of  heaven,  to  the 
east;  Kouvera,  the  god  of  wealth,  to  the  north;  Varouna, 
the  god  of  the  waters,  to  the  west;  and  Yama,  the  judge  of  the 
dead,  to  the  south  ?  *  Or  the  Four  Mountains,  Sse-yo,  of  the 
Chinese — the  "  four  quarters  of  the  globe,"  as  they  are  wont 
to  designate  their  country — Tal- Tseng  being  the  yo  of  the 
East;  Sigcm-fou,  that  of  the  west;  Hou-Kowang,  that  of  the 
south;  and  Clien-si,  that  of  the  north?'     Or,  again,  the  four 

'  Landa,  Las  Gosas  de  Yucatan,  p.  206,  et  passim. 

^  Bac  means,  in  the  Maya  language,  "to  pour  water  from  a  narrow- 
mouthed  vase."    Pio  Perez,  Maya  dictionary.     Plate  xxxiii. 

'  CogoUudo,  Historiade  Yucathaii,  lib.  iv.,  cap.  viii.,  p.  197.    Edit.,  1688. 

«  Manava-Bharma-Sastra,  lib.  1,  Sloka  87. 

^  Cliou-King,  chap.  i.  Yoa-tien,^axt\.  These  four  mountains  recall  the 
four  pillars  that  support  heaven  ;  that  is,  the  four  cardinal  points  of  the 
Mayas,  of  the  Hindoos,  of  the  Chaldeans,  and  of  the  Egyptians.  On  a 
Stela  of  Victory  of  Thotmes  III.,  in  the  Bulaq  Museum,  it  is  written  :  "I, 
Amon,  have  spread  the  fear  of  thee  to  the  four  pillars  of  Heaven."  Do  not 
the  bags  of  ^olus,  that  contain  the  winds  in  Grecian  mythology,  recall  the 
four  bottles,  or  jars,  of  the  Bacabs? 

Page  86. 

Plale  XXXIII. 


principal  protecting  genii  of  the  human  race  among  the 
Chaldeans,^  whose  names  were  :  Sed-Alap  or  Kiruh,  who  was 
represented  as  a  bull  with  a  human  face;  Lamas  or  Nirgal, 
as  a  lion  with  a  man's  head;  Ustur,  after  the  human  likeness; 
and  JSfattig,  with  the  head  of  an  eagle  ? 

These  last  were  said  by  Ezekiel  to  be  the  four  symbolical 
creatures  which  supported  the  throne  of  Jehovah  in  his  visions 
by  the  river  Chebar.' 

In  this  connection  also  may  be  mentioned  the  four  genii 
of  Amenti,  Amset,  Hapi,  Tesautmutf,  and  Qdbhsenvf,  said 
by  the  Egyptians  to  be  present  before  Osiris  while  presiding 
in  judgment;  protecting,  by  their  influence,  every  soul  that 
entered  the  realms  of  the  West.  It  was  to  these  genii  that  a 
portion  of  the  intestines,  taken  from  the  body  of  the  deceased, 
was  dedicated,  and  placed  in  the  vase,  or  canoj),  which  bore  their 
respective  heads,  as  we  have  already  seen.  If  the  name  given 
to  these  vases  by  the  Egyptians  is  not  of  Maya  origin,  it 
must  be  admitted  that  it  is  a  most  remarkable  coincidence. 

In  Mayach,  the  brains,  the  charred  viscera,  and  other 
noble  parts,  preserved  in  red  oxide  of  mercury,^  were  deposited 
in  stone  urns,  which  were  placed  with  the  statues  of  the 
deceased,  in  superb  mausolei,  where  they  are  found  in  our 
day.*  Landa'  and  several  other  chroniclers  tell  us  that  the 
Mayas  made  statues  of  stone,  Avood,  or  clay,  according  to  the 
wealth  of  the  individual,  in  the  likeness  of  the  deceased,  and, 
after  cremating  the  remains,  put  the  ashes  in  the  head  of  said 
statues,  which,  for  the  purpose,  had  been  made  hollow. 

"  F.  Lenormant,  Chaldean  Magic  and  Sorcery,  p.  121. 

"  Ezekiel,  chap,  i.,  verse  10;  chap,  x.,  verse  14. 

^  See  Appendix,  note  ix. 

'  See  farther  on  Prince  Coh's  Mausoleum  (Plate  Ivii.) 

■''  Landa,  Las  Cosaa  de  Yucatan,  §  xxxiii.,  p.  193. 


In  Egypt,  likewise,  they  sculptured  on  the  lid  of  the  coffin, 
or  fastened  on  it,  a  cast  of  the  features  of  the  person  whose 
remains  it  contained. 

After  clearing  from  the  altar  the  debris  of  the  roof  of  the 
portico,  that  in  falling  had  not  only  injured,  but  so  completely 
buried  it  that  it  had  escaped  the  notice  of  John  L.  Stephens 
and  others  who  had  visited  the  spot  before  us,  we  found  that 
the  atlantes  and  the  bas-reliefs  that  adorned  the  upper  side  and 
the  edges  of  the  table  had  been  brilliantly  colored.  The  pig- 
ments used  by  the  Maya  artists  were  of  such  lasting  nature 
that  the  colors  were  actually  as  bright  as  when  they  were  laid 
on;  and  the  vehicle  or  menstruum  in  which  they  were  dis- 
solved had  deeply  penetrated  the  stone  without  injuring  the 
surface.  Here  was  the  confirmation  of  a  very  interesting  fact 
that  we  had  already  discovered — that  the  Mayas,  Mice  the 
Hindoos,'  the  Chaldees,^  the  Egyptians,^  and  the  Greeks,  col- 
ored their  sculptures  and  statues,  and  provided  them  Avith  eyes 
and  nails  made  of  shell.  Shall  it  be  said  that  this  is  a  mere 
coincidence,  or  shall  we  regard  it  as  a  custom  transmitted  from 
one  nation  to  another;  or,  again,  taught  to  the  rest  by  the 
people  who  introduced  among  them  tlie  sculptor's  art? 

■  Bishop  Heber  in  his  Narrative  of  a  Journey  throti^h  the  Upper  Provinces 
of  India,  vol.  i.,  p.  386  ;  vol.  ii.,  pp.  430,  525,  530  ;  vol.  iii.,  pp.  48-49. 

'  Henry  Layard,  Nineveh  and  its  Remains,  vol.  ii.,  part  ii.,  chap.  iii. 

'  Eusebius,  Prmp.  et  Demons.  Evang.,  lib.  iii.,  chap.  xi.  See  Appendix, 
note  X. 


The  state  of  perfect  preservation  of  the  colors  again  reveals 
to  us  several  most  interesting  facts,  that  come  to  add  the  weight 
of  their  evidence  to  the  many  other  proofs  we  have  already 
adduced,  to  show  that,  in  remote  ages,  the  Mayas  entertained 
intimate  relations  with  the  other  civilized  nations  of  Asia, 
Africa,  and  Europe.  From  these  we  learn  that,  for  instance, 
yellow  was  the  distinctive  color  of  the  royal  family,  as  red  was 
that  of  nobility;  and  that  blue  was  used  in  Mayach,  as  in 
Egypt  ^  and  Chaldea,^  at  funerals,  in  token  of  mourning,  as  it 
stiU  is  in  Bokhara  and  other  Asiatic  countries. 

"  But  in  that  deep  blue,  melancholy  dress 
Bokhara's  maidens  wear  in  mindfulness 
Of  friends  and  kindred,  dead  or  far  away."  ^ 

Had  the  Maya  sages,  and  the  ancient  philosophers  in  Chal- 
dea  and  Egypt,  found  out  what  is  well  known  to  those  Avho, 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xvi.,  p. 
443,  et  passim. 

''  Henry  Layard,  Nineveh  and  Babylon,  pp.  375-557. 
'  Thomas  Moore,  Lalla  Rookh,  p.  74. 


in  our  day,  have  made  a  study  of  the  effect  produced  by  colors 
on  the  nervous  system  of  man  and  animals — that  blue  induces 
sadness  and  melancholy?  Blue,  from  the  color  of  the  vault 
of  heaven,  was  typical  of  holiness,  sanctity,  chastity,  hence  of 
happiness ;  it  was  then  worn  in  Mayach,  Egjrpt,  and  Chaldea 
during  the  period  of  mourning,  in  token  of  the  felicity  the 
soul,  free  from  the  trammels  of  matter  and  the  probations  of 
earthly  life,  was  enjoying  in  realms  beyond  the  grave.  They 
believed  that  aR  things  existed  forever;  that  to  cease  to  be  on 
the  earth  was  only  to  assume  another  form  somewhere  else  in 
the  universe,  where  dwelt  the  spirits  of  the  justified — the  rna- 
xeru  of  the  Egyptians,  that,  translated  in  Maya,  xma-xelel, 
means  "  without  tears,"  "  whole."  Landa  tells  us  that,  to  the 
time  of  the  Spanish  conquest,  the  bodies  of  the  individuals  Avho 
offered  themselves,  or  were  offered,  as  propitiatory  victims  to 
Divinity,  as  well  as  the  altars  on  which  they  were  immo- 
lated, were  painted  blue,  and  held  holy.^  "We  have  seen  these 
victims,  painted  blue,  represented  in  the  ancient  fresco  paint- 
ings. The  image  of  Mehen,  the  engendered,  that  ancestor  of 
all  beings,  seated  in  the  cosmic  egg,  Avas  painted  blue;  so  was 
the  effigy  of  the  god  Kiieph,^  the  Creator,  in  Egypt;  and  the 
gods,  the  boats,  the  shrines,  carried  in  the  funeral  processions, 
were  likewise  painted  blue.'  In  Hindostan,  the  god  Vishnu, 
seated  on  the  mighty  seven-headed  serpent  Oaisha,  the  Ah-ac- 
cliapat  of  the  Mayas,  is  painted  blue,  to  signify  his  exalted 
and  heavenly  nature.      The  plumes  worn  on  the  heads  of  the 

'  Landa,  Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,  chap,  xxviii.,  p.  166. 

"  Y  llegado  el  dia,  juntavaiise  en  el  patio  del  templo,  y  si  avia  de  ser 
sacrifioado  ii  saetadas,  desnudavanle  en  cueros  y  untavan  el  cuerpo  de 
azul,"  etc. 

^  Eusebius,  Prmp.  et  Demons.  Mvang.,  lib.  iii.,  chap,  xi.,  p.  315. 

°  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  ii.,  c.  xiii.,  p.  400. 


kings  and  queens  of  the  Mayas,  for  the  same  reason,  were 
blue,  the  king  being  the  vicegerent  and  vicar  of  Deity  on 
earth.'  The  ceremonial  mantle  of  the  highpriest  was  made 
of  blue  and  yellow  feathers,  to  indicate  that  in  his  office  he 
partook  both  of  the  divine  and  the  kingly. 

In  another  work  I  have  treated  at  length  of  the  meaning 
which  the  Mayas  attached  to  colors.  The  limits  of  this  book 
do  not  alloAv  for  lengthy  explanations  on  this  subject;  but  a 
few  words  must  be  said  about  yellow  and  red,  colors  which 
have  been  held  by  all  civilized  nations  of  antiquity  as  distinc- 
tive of  royalty  and  nobility  of  race. 

The  unearthing  of  the  altar  at  the  entrance  of  Prince  Coil's 
funeral  chamber  has  revealed  the  fact  that  among  the  Mayas 
yellow  was  the  distinctive  color  of  the  royal  family. 

It  is  well  known  that  throughout  China  the  emperor  and 
his  family  are  the  only  persons  allowed  to  wear  yellow  gar- 
ments. Red  is  the  other  color  set  apart  for  the  particular  use 
of  the  imperial  familj^^ 

In  the  islands  of  the  Pacific,  the  Sandwich  Islands  especially, 
yellow  was  likewise  the  distinctive  color  of  royalty.  The  king 
alone  had  the  right  to  wear  a  cloak  made  of  yellow  feathers.' 
"  The  cloaks  of  the  other  chiefs  were  adorned  with  red  and 
3'ellow  rhomboidal  figures,  intermingled  or  disposed  in  alter- 
nate lines,  with  sometimes  a  section  of  dark  purple  or  glossy 

In  Thibet,  the  dress  of  the  lamas  consists  of  a  long  yellow 
robe,  fastened  by  a  red  girdle,  and  a  yellow  cap  surmounted  by 

'  Is  this  the  reason  why  the  Egyptians  also  placed  feathers  alike  on  the 
heads  of  their  gods  and  their  kings  ? 

''Memoir  of  Father  Ripa,  p.  71.  "Thirteen  Years'  Residence  at  the 
Court  of  Pekin."     Marco  Polo  Travels,  by  flugh  Murray,  in  1250,  p.  74. 

'  AVilliam  Ellis,  Polynesian  Researches,  vol.  iv.,  chap,  vi.,  p.  119. 


a  red  rosette.'  The  king  of  the  lamas,  the  Guison-Tamha, 
when  he  travels,  is  carried  in  a  yellow  palanquin.^ 

In  India,  yellow  and  red  are  colors  used  in  the  worship  of 
the  gods.  Yellow  is  set  apart  for  Vishnu  and  Krishna  and  their 
wives.  "Widows  who  immolate  themselves  on  the  funeral  pyre 
of  their  husbands,  in  the  Suttee  ceremony,  have  their  bodies 
painted  yellow  with  an  infusion  of  sandalwood  and  saffron.' 
Yellow  is  likewise  the  color  of  the  dress  of  the  bonzes  in  Laos, 
Indo-China;  and  the  priests  officiating  at  the  funerals  of 
Siamese  kings  wear  yellow  robes. 

Among  Christians,  even,  yellow  is  the  distinctive  color  of 
the  Pontiff,  whose  seat  is  in  the  Solar  City.  The  papal  banner 
is  white  and  yellow.^  Several  learned  writers,  whose  opinion 
is  authority  on  all  matters  pertaining  to  customs  and  manners 
of  the  ancient  civilized  inhabitants  of  Asia  and  Africa,  in  try- 
ing to  account  for  the  selection  of  yellow  as  distinctive  color 
for  the  kings,  pontiffs,  and  priests  officiating  at  funerals  of 
kings,  have  suggested  that,  as  the  emperors  of  China,  like  the 
kings  in  India,  Chaldea,  Egypt,  and  other  countries,  styled 
themselves  "Children  of  the  Sun,"  it  was  but  natural  that 
they  should  select  for  color  of  their  own  garments  that  of 
their  father  the  Sun,  and  to  make  it  the  mark  of  their  exalted 
rank,  and  the  privilege  of  their  family. 

'  M.  Hue,  Recollections  of  a  Journey  through  Tartary,  Thibet,  and  China, 
vol.  i.,  chap,  i.,  p.  33. 

^  Ibid.,  chap,  iv.,  p.  89. 

°  Abb6  Dubois,  Description  of  the  Manners  of  the  People  of  India,  pp. 

*  Cartaud  de  la  Villate,  Critical  Thoughts  on  Matliematics  (vol.  i., 
Paris,  1753),  says  :  "The  Cardinal  Dailly  and  Albert  the  Great,  Bishop  of 
Ratisbonne,  distribute  the  planets  among  the  religions.  To  the  Christians 
they  assign  the  Sun.  This  is  the  reason  wliy  they  hold  the  Sun  in  great 
veneration,  and  wliy  the  city  of  Rome  is  styled  the  Solar  City,  and  the  car- 
dinals wear  dress  of  a  red  color,  this  bein"  that  of  the  Sun." 


The  selection  of  that  color  may,  however,  have  an  esoteric 
and  more  scientific  origin;  one  pertaining  to  the  ancient  sacred 
mysteries,  known  only  to  the  initiates  who  had  been  admitted 
to  the  higher  degrees. 

It  is  well  to  remember  that  the  kings  of  Mayach,  also, 
styled  themselves  "  Children  of  the  Sun,"  as  did  the  emperors 
of  Mexico  and  the  Yncas  of  Peru. 

We  have  seen  that  Kan  was  the  name  of  the  first  Bacab,' 
the  powerful  genius  to  whom  the  Creator  had  entrusted,  from 
the  beginning,  the  keeping  of  the  pillar  that  supported  the  sky 
on  the  south,  the  fiery  region  whence  comes  the  greatest  heat ; 
hence  Kan,  for  yellow,  the  color  of  fire,  that  direct  emana- 
tion from  the  sun.  Kin,  the  vivifying,  the  life  sustainer,  the 
God,  without  whom  nothing  could  exist,  and  everything 
would  perish  on  earth — that  God  who  is,  therefore,  the  visible 
image  of  the  Creator. 

Kan  is  but  a  variation  of  caan,  "heaven,"  "that  which 
is  above,"  caanal,  and  also  of  can,  "serpent,"  which  was 
the  emblem  of  the  Maya  Empire. 

But  Can  is  also  the  numerical  "Four,"  the  tetraktis,  that 
most  solemn  and  binding  oath  of  the  initiates  into  the  mys- 
teries. The  number  four,  according  to  Pythagoras,  who  had 
learned  from  the  Egyptians  the  meaning  of  numbers,  repre- 
sents the  mystic  name  of  the  creative  power.  Can,  again,  is 
a  copulative  particle  that,  united  to  verbs,  indicates  that  the 
action  is  verified  frequently  and  with  violence.^  Hence  the 
name  Kancab  for  yellow  or  red  clay,  the  dry  land,  upheaved 
from  the  bottom  of  the  deep  by  volcanic  fires,  anthropomor- 
phized in  Honien. 

'  Landa,  Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan.    Uhi  supra,  p.  86. 
''  Pedro  Beltrau,  Arte  del  IdUma  Maya. 


According  to  Nahuatl  cosmogony,  "  when  Omeyocax,  the 
Creator,  who  dwelt  in  himself,  thought  that  the  time  had 
come  when  aU  things  should  be  created,  he  arose,  and  from 
one  of  his  hands,  resplendent  with  light,  he  darted  four 
arrows,  which  struck  and  put  in  motioa.  four  molecules,  origin 
of  the  four  elements  that  floated  in  space.  These  molecules, 
on  being  hit  by  the  divine  arrows,  became  animated.  Heat, 
which  determined  movement  in  matter,  was  developed  in 
them.  Then  appeared  the  first  rays  of  the  rising  sun,  which 
brought  life  and  joy  throughout  nature."  ^ 

What  conclusions  are  we  to  derive  from  the  fact  that  the 
Egyptians,  the  Greeks,  the  Nahuatls,^  and  the  Mayas  assigned 
the  number  Four  to  the  creative  power  ?  That  the  Chinese,  other 
Asiatic,  and  Polynesian  nations  adopted,  like  the  Mayas,  as 
a  distinctive  badge  for  their  kings  and  their  religious  chiefs, 
vicars  of  the  Deity  on  earth,  the  yellow  color,  whose  name  in 
the  Maya  language,  Kan,  is  but  a  variant  of  that  of  the 
numerical  Four,  or  that  of  heaven,  or  that  of  the  serpent, 
emblem  of  the  Creator  in  Egypt,  Chaldea,  China,  as  in  May- 
acli  ?  In  China,  Long  or  Tl-IIoang,  the  Tse-yuen,  the  "  engen- 
dered," who  had  the  body  of  a  serpent,  is  the  protector  and 
arranger  of  all  things;  and  Iloa,  the  "god  of  life,"  of  the 
Chaldees,^  was  represented  as  a  serpent.  I  may  quote  in  this 
connection  the  following  remarks  from  Canon  Eawlinson: 
"  There  are  no  means  of  strictly  determining  the  precise  mean- 
ing of  the  word  (Hoa)  in  Bab^'^lonian,  but  it  is  pei'haps  allow- 

'  Lord  Kingsborough,  vol.  ii.,  copy  of  a  Mexicau  luaimscript  iu  the 
Vatican  library,  No.  3738.  Compare  with  the  recital  of  Creation  in  Ma- 
nava-Dluirma-Sastra,  lib.  i.,  Slokas  5-7. 

'  The  origin  of  the  Naliuatls  is  unknown,  and  a  matter  of  discussion 
among  Americanists.     Were  tliey  Ilnns  ? 

'  Bcrosus,  Fragments,  1.  ^  3.     Ilelludius,  1.  s.  c. 


able  to  connect  it  provisionally  with  the  Arabic  Hiya,  which 
is  at  once  '  life '  and  '  serpent, '  since,  according  to  the  best 
authority,  there  are  strong  grounds  for  connecting  Hea  or  Hoa 
with  the  serpent  of  the  Scripture,  and  the  paradisiacal  tradi- 
tions of  the  tree  of  knowledge  and  the  tree  of  life."  ' 

Will  it  be  argued  that  this  widespread  symbol  of  the  Cre- 
ator is  but  a  natural  consequence  of  the  working  of  various 
cultivated  minds,  pondering  over  this  same  subject  and  reach- 
ing identical  conclusions  ?  We  must  not  lose  sight  of  the  fact, 
before  answering  this  question  in  the.  affirmative,  that  in 
Mayach  alone  the  name  of  the  serpent  can,  and  the  numer- 
ous meanings  of  the  word,  form  a  pandect.  Is  it  not,  then, 
probable,  that  the  Mayas,  having  conceived  the  idea  from  the 
geographical  outlines  of  their  country,  which  figures  a  serpent 
with  inflated  breast,  spread  the  notion  among  the  other  nations 
with  which  they  had  intimate  relation,  in  whose  territories 
they  established  colonies  ? 

There  is  much  to  be  said,  that  is  interesting,  on  the  red 

color  as  symbol,  and  its  use  as  mark  of  nobility  of  race  among 

all  civilized  nations  of  antiquity,  in  Asia,  Polynesia,  Africa, 

and  America.     The  subject  seems  directly  connected  mth  the 

object  of  our  present  investigations,  since  we  are  told  by  Mr. 

Piazzi  Smyth,  the  well-known  Egyptologist,  that   the  great 

Egjrptian  Sphinx  was  originally  painted  red.     Judging  from 

the  royal  standards  represented  in  fresco  paintings  in  Prince 

Coil's  Memorial  Hall;  from  the  tint  prevalent  on  the  facades 

of  the  palaces  of  the  Mayas,  and  that  of  the  floors  in  castles 

'  Such  is  the  knowledge  of  the  majority  of  the  great  scholars  whose 
works  are  accepted  as  authority  on  liistorical  questions.  In  this  case  Canon 
Rawlinson,  in  his  biased  ignorance,  has  been  teaching  a  greater  truth  than 
he  imagined.  But  let  it  be  said  to  his  credit — he  has  not  done  it  on  pur- 
pose, for  he  did  not  dream  of  it. 


and  temples,  red  was  the  distinctive  color  of  nobles  and  war- 
riors. It  was  in  early  times  the  symbol  of  nobility  among  the 
Egyptians,  who  styled  themselves  Eot-en-ne-Rome,  a  name 
having  the  same  meaning  as  Tear  or  oara  in  the  language  of  the 
Caras  of  the  West  Indies  and  northern  coast  of  South  Amer- 
ica, and  that  of  those  Carians,  once  the  terror  of  the  inhabit- 
ants of  the  littoral  of  the  Mediterranean,  and  who  finally 
established  themselves  on  the  western  coast  of  Asia  Minor; 
that  is,  of  Ya.e\i  par  excellence,  of  "brave  men."  Was  it 
because  their  ancestors  came  from  the  country  of  the  red  men 
in  the  West,  that  in  their  paintings  they  invariably  painted 
their  skin  a  reddish  brown,  as  did  the  Mayas  ?  From  remote 
antiquity  to  our  day,  among  all  nations  civilized  or  savage, 
red  has  been  and  is  typical  of  courage,  war,  contention ;  and, 
by  contrast,  of  prayer  and  supplication. 

That  the  red  color  in  the  "Lands  of  the  West"  was  the 
distinctive  mark  of  warriors  and  of  power,  there  can  be  no 
doubt.  AU  the  chroniclers  of  the  time  of  the  Spanish  con- 
quest tell  us  that  where  the  hosts  of  natives  opposed  the 
invaders  and  confronted  them  in  battle  array,  their  faces  and 
bodies  were  painted  red.^  To  this  day  the  North  American 
Indians,  particularly  when  on  the  warpath,  daub  their  faces 
and  bodies  with  red  paint. 

Plinius  ^  speaks  of  Camillus  painting  his  face  and  bodj'  red, 
before  entering  Rome,  on  returning  victorious  after  the  expul- 
sion of  the  Gauls  from  Italy  by  the  troops  under  his  com- 
mand. It  was  customary  for  Roman  soldiers  to  paint  their 
bodies  red  in  token  of  their  bravery.    The  same  author  also 

'  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Tucathan,  lib.  i.,  chap,  ii.,  p.  6  ;  lib.  ii.,  chap.  vL, 
p.  77,  et  passim. 

'  Pliuius,  llistoria  Nat.,  .xxxiii.  7. 


says  that  one  of  the  first  acts  of  the  censors  on  entering  upon 
their  duties  was  to  paint  the  face  of  Jupiter  Avith  minium,  such 
being  the  practice  on  every  high  festival  day. 

In  Egypt,  the  god  Set,  the  enemy  of  Horus,  Avas  styled  "  the 
very  valiant."  He  was  painted  red.  At  Ombos  he  was  wor- 
shipped as  the  evil  principle  of  nature,  under  the  name  of 
Nvhti,  a  word  for  which  the  Maya  affords  this  very  natural 
etymon:  nup,  "adversary;"  ti,  "for."  He  Avas  the  chief 
god  of  the  Avarlike  Khati. 

The  possession  of  land  and  wealth  has  always  been  the 
privilege  of  the  strongest  and  the  most  daring ;  of  the  Avarriors, 
who,  Avrongly  or  rightly,  possessed  themselves  of  the  property 
of  the  conquered,  and  appropriated  it  to  their  own  use.  In 
the  distribution  of  spoils,  the  chiefs  never  failed  to  set  apart 
for  themselves  the  largest  share.  At  first,  these  chiefs  were 
elective.  They  Avere  chosen  on  account  of  their  superior  phys- 
ical strength  and  their  proAvess  in  battle.  Having  acquired 
Avealth,  they  paid  men  to  fight  under  their  leadership.  To 
insure  their  poAver  and  authority,  even  over  their  own  folloAv- 
ers,  they  contracted  alliances  with  other  leaders,  so  that  they 
might  help  each  other  in  case  of  necessity.  Thus  they  formed 
a  privileged  class,  the  Nobility,  that  by  and  by  claimed  to  be 
of  a  nature  superior  to  that  of  other  men.  They  justified  that 
claim  by  close  obedience  to  the  laAv  of  selection.  Eed,  color 
of  the  blood  shed  on  the  battle-field,  became  the  distinctive 
color  of  "nobility  of  race,"  of  "brave  and  valiant  man,"  of 
"man  par  excellence ; ''^  therefore,  emblematic  of  poAver, 
strength,  dominion. 

All  historians  say  that  red  in  Egypt  Avas  the  SATubol  of  nobil- 
ity of  race.  Landa  >  says  it  was  customary  Avith  the  aborigines 
'  Landa,  Las  Gosas  de  Yucatan,  pp.  117-185. 


of  Yucatan,  both  male  and  female,  to  adorn  themselves  with 
red  paint.  According  to  Du  ChaiUu,'  the  Fans  of  equatorial 
Africa,  who  have  so  many  customs  strangely  identical  with 
those  of  the  ancient  Mayas — even  that  of  filing  their  front 
teeth  like  a  saw — paint  themselves  red,  men  and  women. 

Herodotus  ^  asserts  that  the  Maxyes  (Mayas  ?),  a  people 
dwelling  to  the  westward  of  Lake  Triton,  in  Libya,  daubed 
themselves  with  vermilion. 

Molina,  in  his  vocabulary  of  the  Mexican  tongue,  at  the 
word  TlapilU,  explains  that  whilst  its  primary  meaning  is  "to 
paint  in  red  color,"  it  also  signifies  "noble,"  "ancient,"  and 
that  Tlapilli  eztli  implies,  metaphorically,  nobility  of  blood 
and  family. 

Garcilasso  de  la  Yega,^  Cieza  de  Leon,^  Acosta,^  and  other 
writers  on  Peruvian  customs  and  manners,  inform  us  that  the 
fringe  and  tassel  of  the  Llantu,  royal  headdress  of  the  Yncas, 
were  made  of  fine  crimson  wool. 

Mr.  William  Ellis  asserts  ^  that  the  Areois  of  Tahiti,  in  cer- 
tain religious  ceremonies,  painted  their  faces  red;  that  "the 
ceremony  of  inauguration,  answering  to  coronation  among 
other  nations,  consisted  in  girding  the  king  with  the  Maro  Uru, 
or  sacred  girdle  of  red  feathers,  which  identified  him  with  the 

The  prophet  Ezekiel  mentions  the  figures  of  red  men  pictured 

'  Du  Chaillu,  Explorations  and  Adventures  in  Equatorial  Afriai,  pp.  94, 
104-107,  et  jiasdm. 

'  Herodotus,  Hist.,  lib.  iv.  19. 

'  Garcilasso  de  la  Vega,  Gomnuntarios  Reales,  part  i.,  lib.  i.,  cap.  22  ; 
lib.  vi.,  cap.  28. 

'  Cieza  de  Leon,  Cronica,  cap.  114. 

'  Acosta,  Ilistoria  de  las  Indias  OcciJentales,  lib.  iv.,  cap.  12. 

''  William  Ellis,  Polynesian  Researches,  vol.  i..  p.  ISO. 

^  Ibid.,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  iv.,  p.  85. 


on  the  walls  of  the  edifices  at  Babylon,  similar  to  the  human 
figures  found  on  those  of  the  tombs  in  Hindostan  and  Etruria. 
In  Egypt,  the  god  Atum,  emblem  of  the  setting  sun,  was 
painted  red.  The  Egyptians  regarded  him  as  the  creator  of 
all  things  visible  and  invisible.  Were  we  not  told  of  it  by 
the  writers  on  Egyptian  manners  and  customs,  we  would  learn 
it  from  the  meaning  of  the  name  in  the  Maya  language — Ah- 
Tum  ;  literally,  "he  of  the  new  things."  Here  again  red  is 
symbolical  of  power — might. 

According  to  Sir  Gardner  "Wilkinson,*  Egyptologists  are 
not  positive  as  to  the  manner  in  which  the  name  written  with 
the  initial  letters  A  and  T  should  be  read.  It  is  sometimes 
interpreted  T-Mu.  The  paintings  in  the  tombs  where  he  is 
represented  in  a  boat  in  company  with  Athor,  Thoth,  and  Ma, 
the  goddess  of  truth,'  show  that  he  filled  an  important  office  in 
the  regions  of  Amenti. 

If  -we  accept  T-Mu  as  the  correct  reading  of  the  hiero- 
glyphs that  form  his  name,  then  that  god  must  have  been  the 
personification  of  that  continent  which  disappeared  under  the 
waves  of  the  ocean,  mentioned  by  Plato  and  other  Greek 
writers  as  Atlantis.  The  Mayas  also  called  it  Ti-Mu,  the 
country  of  Mu,  a  name  that  the  Greeks  knew  equally  well,  as 
we  will  see  later  on.  Do  we  find  here  the  explanation  of  why 
the  Egyptians  figured  Atum  in  a  boat,  holding  an  office  in  the 
West,  and  painted  him  red,  the  color  of  the  inhabitants  of  the 
countries  with  which  they  were  most  familiar,  and  of  which 
they  kept  the  most  perfect  remembrance  ? 

The  same  motive  may  have  influenced  the  Hindoo  philoso- 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xiii., 
p.  178. 

'^  These  names  are  Maya  words  expressive  of  the  attributes  imputed  to 
these  gods  by  the  Egyptians. 


phers  when  they  painted  with  red  Ocmesha,  god  of  prudence, 
of  letters  and  science.  By  this  they  perhaps  wished  to  indi- 
cate that  men  of  that  color,  coming  from  Pdtala,  the  antip- 
odes,^ imported  to  India,  with  civilization,  the  knowledge  of 
letters,  arts,  and  sciences. 

In  Polynesia,  red  is  still  regarded  by  the  natives  of  the 
islands  as  a  favorite  color  with  the  gods.  "WiUiam  EUis  says 
"that  the  ordinary  means  of  communicating  or  extending 
supernatural  powers  was,  and  stiU  is,  the  red  feather  of  a 
small  bird  found  in  many  of  the  islands,  and  the  beautiful  long 
feathers  of  the  Tropic  or  man-of-war  bird."  ^ 

We  are  told  that  when  kings,  chiefs,  and  nobles  died  they 
were  deified,  became  the  minor  gods,  watching  over  the  desti- 
nies of  mankind,  and  the  mediators  between  man  and  the 
Godhead.  The  red  color  seems  to  have  continued  to  be  sjva.- 
bolical  of  their  new  powers,  as  it  had  been  of  their  authority 
on  earth.  This  may  possibly  account  for  the  custom,  prevalent 
in  Mayacli,  Polynesia,  and  India,  of  devotees  stamping  the 
impression  of  their  hands,  dipped  in  red  liquid,  on  the  walls  of 
the  temples,  of  the  sacred  caves,  and  other  hallowed  places, 
when  imploring  some  benefaction  from  the  Deity. 

'  MahaVharata-Adipana,  Slokas  7788,  7789  ;  also  Bliagwvata-Purana,  ix., 
XX.  33.     See  Appendix,  note  xi. 

'  William  Ellis,  Polynesian  Researches,  vol.  ii.,  chap,  ix.,  p.  260. 

Although  there  is  much  to  be  said  in  connection  with  this  interesting 
fact,  wliich  is  one  of  the  many  vestiges  of  the  3Iayas'  presence  among  the 
Polynesians,  I  will  simply  remark,  at  present,  that  in  Egypt  the  feather  was 
the  distinctive  adornment  of  the  gods  and  kings,  as  in  Mnyacli  it  was  of 
the  kings,  pontiffs,  nobles,  and  warriors,  differing  in  color  according  to 
their  rank  and  their  more  or  less  exalted  position  ;  as  is  yet  in  Cliina  the 
button  and  the  peacock  feather  ;  that  the  Maya  name  for  feather  is 
Kukuin,  the  radical  of  which,  Ku,  is  the  word  for  the  Supreme  Intelli- 
gence; and  that /i7m in  Egyptian  means  "Intelligence,"  "  Spirit,"  "Light," 
"  Manes." 

QUEEN  m60  and  THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  101 

This  most  ancient  and  universal  belief,  that  the  inferior 
gods — that  is  to  say,  the  glorified  spirits  of  eminent  men  and 
women — are  mediators  between  the  Divinity  and  earth's  inhab- 
itants, has  survived  to  our  day,  and  is  still  prevalent  with  mil- 
lions of  human  beings.  The  Church  of  Rome  teaches  this 
doctrine  to  her  followers.  Her  Fathers  and  Doctors  received  it 
from  the  Greek  philosophers,  several  of  whom  held  that  "  each 
demon  is  a  mediator  between  God  and  man. "  ^  Many  festivals 
have  therefore  been  instituted  by  the  Church  in  honor  of  the 
saints,  who,  the  faithful  are  taught  to  believe,  convey  their 
prayer  to  the  Almighty. 

True,  these  do  not,  as  the  devotees  in  some  temples  in  India 
still  do,  stamp  the  red  imprint  of  their  hands  on  the  walls,^  to 
remind  the  god  of  their  vow  and  prayer;  but  they  fasten 
votive  offerings  made  of  gold,  silver,  copper,  or  wax,  accord- 
ing to  the  worshipper's  means,  to  the  image  and  to  the  altar 
of  the  saint  invoked. 

Such  votive  offerings,  made  of  clay,  are  found  scattered 
most  abundantly  round  the  altars  in  the  temples  of  the  ancient 
Mayas,  or  buried  in  the  ground  at  the  foot  of  the  statues  of 
their  great  men. 

It  is  well  known  that  no  two  individuals  have  hands  of 
exactly  the  same  size  or  shape ;  that  the  lines  in  the  palms  differ 
in  every  person.    The  red  impress  of  the  hand,  on  that  accoimt, 

'  Plato,  Simpos,  vol.  iii.,  pp.  302-303  (edit.  Serrain).  St.  Clement  of 
Alexandria,  Stromata,  v.,  lib.  c,  p.  260  (edit.  Potter),  in  admitting  that 
the  good  demons  were  the  angels,  stated  the  opinion  of  many  Christians  of 
his  time  ;  and  Dionysius  Areopagite,  in  his  Celestial  Hierarchy,  chap,  x., 
§  11,  says  :  "All  the  angels  are  interpreters  and  messengers  of  their  supe- 
riors ;  the  most  advanced,  of  God  who  moves  them,  and  the  others  as  they 
are  moved  by  God." 

'  Account  of  General  Grant's  visit  to  the  Maharajah  of  Jeypoor,  New 
York  Herald,  edition  of  April  12,  1879. 


came  to  be  regarded  as  a  private  seal,  a  mark  of  ownership.* 
As  such  it  was  used  from  time  immemorial  by  the  Mayas,  in 
whose  temples  and  palaces  can  yet  be  seen  numerous  red  im- 
prints of  hands  of  various  shapes  and  sizes.  Such  impressions 
being  met  with  in  aU.  places  in  Polynesia  and  in  India  where 
other  vestiges  of  the  Mayas  are  found,  may  serve  as  compass 
to  guide  us  in  following  their  migrations  over  the  vast  expanse 
of  land  and  sea,  and  to  indicate  the  ancient  roads  of  travel. 
In  time  the  red  color,  used  in  thus  recording  invocations  to 
the  gods  and  registering  the  rights  of  ownership,  came  to  be 
accepted  as  legal  color  for  seals  in  public  and  private  docu- 
ments. The  Egyptians  made  use  of  a  red  mixture  to  stamp 
the  imprint  of  their  personal  seals  on  the  doors  of  tombs,  of 
houses,  and  of  granaries,  to  secure  them.^ 

Eed  seals  are  used  by  the  Mongol  kings  on  aU  official  docu- 
ments.^ This  custom  of  using  materials  of  a  red  color  to  seal 
all  important  and  legal  documents  has  reached  our  times;  it 
still  obtains  among  all  civilized  nations. 

The  foregoing  facts  tell  us,  it  is  true,  of  the  adoption  of  the 
red  color,  among  aU  civilized  nations  of  antiquity,  as  symbol  of 
nobility  of  race  and  of  invocation — devotees  using  it  in  recording 
their  vow  or  prayer  when  imploring  the  benison  of  the  gods  on 
themselves  or  their  homes;  also  of  its  being  employed  in  seals 
as  mark  of  ownership,  hence  of  dominion  over  the  objects  thus 
sealed;  but  nowhere  is  any  mention  made  of  the  people 
whom  the  custom  originated,  nor  why  it  came  to  be  the  symbol 

'  Henry  R.  Schoolcraft,  "Ou  the  Red  Hand,"  apiid  3.  L.  Stephens, 
Incidents  of  JVavels  in  Yucatan,  vol.  ii.,  p.  476,  Appendix. 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xvi., 
p.  437. 

'  j\I.  Hue,  Recollections  of  a  Journey  through  Tartary,  Thibet,  and  China, 
vol.  i.,  chap,  viii.,  p.  183. 


of  acts  so  dissimilar  as  the  assertion  of  power,  might,  and 
dominion,  and  the  recording  of  a  prayer  and  a  supplication.  It 
is  again  from  the  Mayas  that  we  may  learn  the  cause  of  this 
seeming  antithesis;  the  various  meanings  of  the  single  Maya 
word  cliac  afford  a  complete  explanation. 

Chac  is  the  Maya  word  for  "red."  Cliaac  is  the 
rain-storm,  and  the  thunder,  that  powerful  and  terrible  genius 
that  produces  the  rain  which  brings  fertility  to  the  earth. 
This  giant,  this  Chac,  was  held  as  the  "god  of  rain," 
"the  god  of  plenty,"  "the  keeper  of  the  fields,"  in  whose 
honor  the  great  festival,  called  Tupp-Kak,  "the  extinguish- 
ment of  fire,"  Avas  celebrated  in  the  month  of  Mac,^  when 
the  priests,  assisted  by  the  Cliacs,  their  aids,  implored  his 
blessing  in  the  shape  of  abundant  rains,  to  bring  forth  the 
crops  and  produce  plenteous  harvests,  hence  joy  and  happiness 
to  the  people. 

Here,  then,  we  find  the  reason  why  the  color  red  was  at 
the  same  time  the  symbol  for  violence  and  for  supplication 
or  prayer.  It  typified  the  violence  of  the  thunder,  the  god 
of  rain,  and  the  supplications  of  his  priests  that  he  should 
grant  a  bountiful  harvest  that  would  insure  happiness  to  his 

The  cross  was  his  emblem.^ 

'  Landa,  Las  Oosas  de  Yucatan,  §  xl.,  p.  252. 

This  mouth  of  Mac  began  on  the  13th  of  our  month  of  March,  and 
ended  on  the  2d  of  April. 

'  Aug.  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  etc.,  p.  128,  et  passim. 


The  following  invocation  to  the  god  of  rain  was  made 
known  for  the  first  time  to  students  of  American  antiquities 
by  the  learned  Abbe  Brasseur  in  his  Chrestomathy.'  He  tells 
us  he  had  it  from  a  native,  while  at  the  hacienda  of  X-Can- 
chakaii.  It  is  one  of  the  many  ancient  prayers  yet  extant 
among  the  natives,  who  still  repeat  them  when,  in  the  obscure 
recesses  of  the  forests,  or  in  the  depths  of  the  dark,  mj^ste- 
rious  subterranean  caves  with  Avhich  the  country  is  honey- 
combed, they  perform  some  of  the  antique  rites  of  the  rehgioa 
of  their  forefathers.^ 

As  published,  the  invocation,  adultei-ated  by  the  interpola- 
tion of  Christian  words  taught  the  natives  by  the  Catholic 
priests,  despoiled  of  its  archaic  form,  loses  much  of  its  interest. 
The  individual  who  translated  it  for  the  Abbe,  either  did  it 
very  carelessly,  or  purposely  did  not  interpret  all  the  words,  or 
was  very  illiterate.      As  presented  it  is  stripped  of  its  most 

'  AbbO  Brasseur,  "  Chrestomatbie,"  iu  his  Elements  dc  la  Langue  itaya, 
Troano  MS.,  vol.  ii.,  p.  101. 

'  Alice  D.  Le  Plougeou,  Here  and  There  in  Yucatan,  pp.  SS-S9. 

QUEEN  m60  and  TEE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  105 

instructive  features,  which  relate  to  certain  religious  practices 
in  use  among  devotees  in  olden  times.  Although  the  learned 
Abbe  says  he  has  tried  to  improve  the  translation,  it  is  certain 
that  he  himself  is  far  from  having  apprehended  the  true  mean- 
ing of  the  Maya  words.  As  for  Dr.  Brinton — who  in  his 
books  poses  as  authority  on  all  matters  pertaining  to  the 
Mayas  and  their  language,  and  is  very  prone  to  criticise 
others  ^ — by  rendering  verbatim,  in  English,  the  French  abbe's 
version,^  he  has  conclusively  demonstrated  that  he  does  not 
understand  the  context  of  the  prayer  better  than  Brasseur, 
who,  he  affirms,  "  knew  next  to  nothing  about  Maya."  ^ 

On  our  return  to  Yucatan  in  June,  1880,  Sefior  Dn.  Vicente 
Soils  de  Leon,  one  of  the  present  owners  of  the  hacienda 
of  X-Canchakan,  within  the  boundaries  of  which  are  situ- 
ated the  ruins  of  the  ancient  citj''  of  Mayapan,  invited  Mrs. 
Le  Plongeon  and  myself  to  visit  the  remains  of  the  famous 
abodes  of  the  powerful  king  Coconi,  and  of  his  descendants 
until  the  year  1446  of  the  Christian  era,  Avhen,  according  to 
Landa,  the  lords  and  nobles  of  the  country,  with  the  chief  of 
the  Tutuxius  at  their  head,  put  to  death  the  then  reigning 
Cocom  and  his  sons,  sacked  his  palace,  and  destroyed  by  fire 
his  city  and  stronghold,  after  removing  the  libraries  and  other 
precious  things  from  the  temples  and  private  dwellings.* 

Being  at  X-Cancliakau,  I  met  a  native,  Marcelo  Canicli, 
an  old  Mayoral  who  had  lived  for  more  than  forty  years  on  the 

'  Dr.  Brinton  presumes  to  criticise,  witliout  adducing  his  reasons  for  so 
doing,  tlie  assertion  made  by  the  author  that  the  ancient  Maya  architects 
made  use,  in  the  construction  of  tlieir  edifices,  of  a  lineal  measure  identical 
with  the  metre.  For  an  answer  to  this  unfounded  criticism,  see  Appendix, 
notes  xii.  and  xiv. 

'  D.  G.  Brinton,  Essays  of  an  Americanist,  p.  167. 

'  Ibid.,  p.  361.     For  a  reply  to  this  assertion,  see  Appendix,  note  xv. 

*  Landa,  Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,  chap,  viii.,  p.  50. 


hacienda.  He  had  a  clear  remembrance  of  John  L.  Stephens 
and  his  companions  Messrs.  Catherwood  and  Cabot.  He  also 
remembered  well  Abbe  Brasseur,  to  whom  he  had  recited  the 
invocation  to  the  god  of  rain.  When  he  repeated  it  to  nie, 
notwithstanding  the  admixture  of  Christian  ideas,  I  saw  in  it 
not  only  one  of  those  archaic  prayers  that  continue  to  live  in 
the  memory  of  the  natives,  but  that  it  contained  most  interest- 
ing information,  and  the  explanation  of  certain  ceremonies 
that  the  ancient  sculptors  have  so  graphically  portrayed  in 
their  bas-reliefs. 

Some  months  later  we  again  established  our  residence  in 
Uxmal,  that  ancient  metropolis  of  the  Tutul-Xius.  "While 
there,  the  head  man  of  the  laborers  who  accompanied  me  was 
the  late  Dn.  Lorenzo  Pacab.  He  was  a  lineal  descendant  of 
the  kings  of  Muna.  His  commands,  given  in  a  soft  low 
voice,  were  instantly  obeyed  by  the  men.  He  understood 
Spanish,  was  fond  of  reading,  but  hated  to  speali  the  tongue  of 
the  destroyers  and  persecutors  of  his  race.  He  himself  had 
cruelly  suffered  at  the  hands  of  the  white  man.  StUl,  when  he 
died,  so  highly  respected  was  he  by  his  townfolk,  that  they 
honored  his  remains  with  as  grand  a  funeral  as  had  taken  place 
for  many  years  in  Mima ;  the  principal  inhabitants,  white  as 
well  as  native,  accompanying  his  body,  reverentially,  to  its  last 

I  do  not  remember  having  ever  seen  him  laugh.  Some- 
times a  sad,  bitter  smile  Avould  pla}'  upon  his  lips,  when  allusion 
was  made  to  the  history  of  his  people.  Notwithstanding  the 
color  of  my  skin,  a  great  friendshij)  sprang  up  between  us — a 
true,  sincere  attachment.  He  was  well  informed  concerning 
the  traditions,  antique  lore,  customs,  and  religious  rites  of  his 
ancestors.    I  could  seldom  induce  him  to  speak  on  that  subject, 

QUEEN  m60  and  THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  107 

to  him  so  replete  with  painful,  cruel  memories.  Only  when 
I  pointed  out  to  him  the  strange  similarity  of  the  customs  and 
manners  of  ancient  Mayas  and  those  of  ancient  Egyptians, 
Chaldees,  and  other  historical  nations  of  antiquity,  would  he 
relax  from  his  habitual  secrecy,  and  ask  me  questions  that,  to 
my  mind,  were  like  the  lifting  of  a  veil  hung  over  a  bright 

When  I  showed  him  the  invocation  as  given  to  me  by 
Canicli,  he  smiled,  and  passed  his  pencil,  without  speaking, 
over  the  words  referring  to  Christian  ideas.  ^ 

Invocation  to  the  God  of  Rain. 

Tippen  lakin  yum6  ti  A 
cant6  tzil  caan,  ti  ti  cante 
tzil  Ilium,  cti  lublil  in  than 
ti  cancan  xotllol,  ti  u  Icab 

U  likil  muyal  lakin,  ti 
nacahbal  cliumuc  ti  cdnil 
Alitepal,  ti  oxlaliun  taz 
niuyal,  Alitzolan,  Kan 
chac ;  ii  paatalibal  yum 
tzibol  ul-Iaahbalob  Alitzo- 
lan, Kancheob  ti  cilicli 
oami  balche,  yetel  u  cilich 
yacunali  ti  yumtzilob,  Ah- 
canan  colob  ntial  ii  cllaob 

When  the  master  rises  in 
the  East,  the  four  parts  of 
heaven,  the  four  corners  of  the 
earth,  are  shattered,  and  my 
broken  accents  fall  in  the  hands 
of  the  Lord. 

When  the  cloud  rises  in  the 
East,  and  ascends  to  the  centre 
where  sits  the  Orderer  of  the 
thirteen  banks  of  clouds,  King 
Alitzolan,  the  "tearer,"  the 
"yellow  thunder,"  Avhere  the 
lords  who  tear  await  the  com- 
ing of  Alitzolan,  then  the 
keeper  of  the  troughs  wherein 
is     fermenting     the     precious 

'  I  present  here,  side  by  side,  tlie  Maya  text  and  my  own  Englisli  trans- 
lation. Dictionary  in  hand,  Maya  students  will  be  able  to  verify  its 



ti  cilich  oabilah,  tu  cilich 
noh  yumbil. 

balche,  full  of  love  for  the 
lord's  tearers,  "guardians  of 
the  crops,"  presents  the  holy 
offerings  that  they  may  place 
them  in  the  presence  of  the 
Most  High,  whom  they  rever- 
ence as  a  father. 

I  also  offer  the  virgin  bird 
with  my  holy  love.  Thou 
wilt  look  at  me  when  I  cut  my 
privities,  I  who  beg  thy  bless- 
ings with  my  heart  full  of  love 
for  thee,  and  ask  thee  to  accept 
my  precious  offerings  and  place 
them  in  the  hands  of  the  Most 

Cin  kubic  li  zuhuy  chii- 
cliil  yetel  in  cilich  yacu- 
nahil;  tech  bin  yanac  a 
pactic,  en  ti  u  xothol  ma- 
ali  kintzil;  cin  katoltic 
si  putic  ^  cicithan  tu  uolol 
a  puczikal  ca  kubic  a  cil- 
ich yacunah  a  chic  Zuhuy 
oabilah ;  bay-tumen  pay- 
ben  utial  kubic  ti  ti  Kab 

The  mutilation  of  the  devotee  by  his  own  hand,  and  his 

prayer  that  the  gods  should  look  upon  him  whilst  he  performs 

the  operation,   recall  vividly  the  practices  in  use  among  the 

Phoenicians  and  the  Phrygians  during  the  orgiastic  rites,  and 

their  worship  of    the   goddess  Amraa    (Agdistis),  the  "great 

mother  of  the  gods,"    Maia,  when  J'^oung  men  were  wont  to 

make  themselves  eunuchs  with  a  sharp  shell,  crying  out  at  the 

same  time,  "  Take  this,  Agdistis.'''' '     Herodotus^  tells  us  that 

at  the  feast  of  Isis,  at  Busiris,  "after  the  sacrifices,  men  and 

women,  to  the  number  of  several  myriads,  beat  themselves — 

in  honor  of  what  god,  it  would    be   impiety  to   say.      The 

'  Max  Duncker,  History  of  Antiquity,  vol.  i.,  p.  531. 
'Herodotus,  History,  lib.  ii,,  l.\i. 

Page  109. 

Plate  XXXIV. 

msz — ' 

IS'  ?i3 -'^i  ;'^]^'^:^'"\r:ig:-iiii)lgii , 

QUEEN  m60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  109 

Carians  established  in  Egypt  do  still  more.  They  stab  them- 
selves on  the  forehead  with  knives." 

Landa^  informs  us  that  "the  men  in  Yucatan  made  offer- 
ings of  their  own  blood,  and  inflicted  the  most  cruel  treatment 
on  their  own  persons,  to  propitiate  the  gods  and  beseech  their 
favor.  These  sanguinary  a^ts  of  piety  that  formed  part  of  the 
religious  observances  of  the  Nahuatls,  when  introduced  by 
them  among  the  Mayas,  were  looked  upon  by  the  latter  with 
great  abhorrence,  as  acts  unworthy  of  intelligent  beings,  for- 
eign to  the  religion  of  their  fathers,  and  distasteful  to  the 
gods.  "We  may  here  record  another  singular  coincidence.  The 
worshippers  of  Siva,  the  Hindoo  god  of  destruction,  and  those 
of  his  wife,  the  cruel  goddess  Kali,  are  wont  to  torture  them- 
selves to  do  homage  to  these  divinities  by  drawing  a  rope 
through  their  pierced  tongue,^  as  we  see  in  the  sculpture  from 
Manche,  now  in  the  British  Museum.     (Plate  XXIX.) 

The  invocation  to  the  god  of  rain  affords,  also,  an  expla- 
nation of  the  subjects  represented  on  the  tablets  of  the  altars 
in  the  temples  of  Naclian  (Palenque),  a  city  which  seems  to 
have  been  sacred  to  the  god  of  rain,  symbolized  by  an  image  of 
the  Southern  Cross.  This  special  worship  would  seem  to  indi- 
cate that  the  inhabitants  of  that  country  were  agriculturists. 
The  analysis  of  the  tablet  represented  in  the  illustration 
strengthens  this  presumption.     (Plate  XXXIV.) 

A  knowledge  of  the  symbolism  in  vogue  among  ancient 
Maya  adepts,  together  with  the  text  of  the  invocation,  gives 
us  a  clear  understanding  of  the  meaning  of  the  sculptures  on 
the  said  tablet. 

'  Landa,  Las  Cosas  ie  Yucatan,  pp.  160-163. 

'  William  Ward,  A  View  of  the  History,  Literature,  and  Religion  of  the 
Hindoos,  pp.  282-384. 


There  can  be  no  question  as  to  the  central  figure  represent- 
ing a  cross,  image  of  the  constellation  known  as  the  Southern 
Cross.  When  at  the  beginning  of  the  month  of  May  this 
appears  perpendicular  over  the  horizon,  the  husbandman  knows 
that  the  rainy  season  is  near  at  hand.  He  then  prepares  to 
sow  the  seed  for  the  next  crop.  This  is  why,  in  aU  times  and 
in  all  countries,  the  cross  has  been  regarded  as  harbinger  of 
the  regeneration  of  nature,  and  the  sign  of  the  life  to  come;  and 
why  the  Tj  ^'^'^j  in  Egypt,  was  placed  in  the  hands  or  on  the 
chest  of  all  mummies. 

This  symbol,  so  common  in  the  sculptures  and  temples  of 
Palenque,  sacred  to  the  gods  of  rain,  is  of  very  rare  occur- 
rence in  those  of  Yucatan,  whose  inhabitants  were  navigators, 
hence  worshippers  of  the  mastodon,  god  of  the  sea,  whose 
image  adorns  their  palaces,  sacred  and  public  buildings. 

The  Maya  meaning  of  Ti-lia-u,  name  of  the  sign  T,  is, 
"  This  is  for  Avater;  "  and  the  main  ornament,  ^^^^^)  on 
the  headdress  of  the  priest  standing  on  the  right,  or  east,  side 
of  the  cross,  is  the  well-known  symbol  of  water,  emblem  of  the 
divinity  to  whom  he  ministers. 

On  each  side  of  the  cross  stands  a  human  figure ;  that  of  a 
man  on  the  right,  that  of  a  woman  on  the  left.  They  are 
emblematic  of  the  dual  forces  of  nature. 

As  in  the  tableau  represented  in  plates  vii.  and  viii.  of  the 
Codex  Cortesianus,  herein  reproduced  (Plates  LV.-LVI.),  the 
male  principle.  Cab,  the  "  world,"  the  "ancestor,"  is  pictured 
facing  the  east,  holding  in  his  hand  the  sign  of  life,  Ik  three 
times  repeated,  so  in  the  Palenque  tablet  the  male,  he  who 
fecundates,  is  placed  to  the  right  (that  is,  the  east),  whence  the 
"  Lord,"  life-giver  and  sustainer,  the  Sun,  rises  every  morning 
to  animate  and  give  strength  to  all  nature. 

QUHEN  m60  and  tee  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  Ill 

As  again  in  the  tableau  of  the  Cortesianus,  the  female  prin- 
ciple, Ik  mamacali,  the  "  life  nuUifier,"  "  she  who  causes  life 
to  disappear,"  is  placed  to  the  left,  so  in  the  Palenque  tablet 
the  female,  the  generator,  is  likewise  placed  to  the  left  (that  is, 
the  west),  where  every  evening  the  sun  disappears,  leaving 
behind  him  darkness,  in  which  generation  takes  place.  The 
badge  on  her  arm,  a  circle  with  its  perpendicular  and  horizontal 
diameters  intersecting  each  other,  image  of  the  mundane  cross, 
is  the  symbol  of  the  impregnated  virgin  womb  of  nature,' 
hence  of  the  life  to  come;  while  her  headdress  is  adorned  with 
leaves,  emblem  of  the  life  that  has  come. 

Both  are  making  offerings  to  their  god:  the  priest  presents 
a  young  bird;  the  priestess,  a  full-grown  plant  with  its  roots, 
trunk,  leaves,  flowers,  and  fruit.  We  are  told  that  they  are 
the  cliacs,  keepers  of  the  troughs  in  which  the  sacred  balch6 
is  fermenting.' 

It  is  well  to  recall  here  what  Father  CogoUudo,^  quoting 
various  authors  who  wrote  regarding  the  Conquest  and  the 
customs  and  religion  of  the  natives,  says  respecting  the  cross 
as  symbol  of  the  god  of  rain: 

"  Gomara,  speaking  of  the  religion  of  the  people  of  the 
island  of  Cozumel,  says :  .  .  .  '  Near  by  there  was  a  tem- 
ple that  looked  like  a  square  tower,  in  which  they  kept  a  very 

'  See  Appendix,  note  xiii. 

'  Tlie  balcli<5  was  a  fermented  liquor  made  of  honey  and  the  bark  of 
the  balchg  tree  steeped  in  water.  It  was  used  to  make  libations  in  the 
sacrifices  to  tlie  gods,  and  in  all  religious  rites — as  the  wine  is  used  at  the 
mass  in  Catholic  churches.  Does  not  this  sacred  balchfi  of  the  Mayas 
bring  to  mind  the  soma  of  the  Hindoos,  made  from  the  Asdepias  acida  and 
from  the  Sarcostemma  acidum;  or  the  amrta,  tlie  divine  beverage  of  the 
Indian  gods  ;  or  the  nectar  that  Homer  tells  us  the  beautiful  HGb6  dispensed 
to  the  gods  of  Olympus  ? 

^  CogoUudo,  Hist,  de  Yucathan,  lib.  iv.,  cap.  ix.,  pp.  200-202. 


famous  idol.  At  the  foot  was  an  enclosure  made  of  stone  and 
mortar,  highly  finished  with  battlements.  In  the  middle  of 
this  existed  a  stone  cross  ten  palms  high,  which  they  regarded 
and  worshipped  as  the  god  of  rain ;  because  when  it  did  not 
rain,  and  the  water  was  scarce,  they  went  to  it  in  procession 
and  with  great  devotion.  They  made  offerings  of  quails  that 
had  been  sacrificed,  in  order  to  allay  its  wrath  against  them 
with  the  blood  of  this  small  bird;  after  which  they  held  it 
certain  that  rain  would  soon  fall. '  "  .  .  .  "  Torquemada  says, 
that  after  the  Indian  Chilam  Balam  showed  them  the  symbol 
of  the  cross,  they  regarded  this  as  the  god  of  rain,  and  felt 
certain  that  they  would  never  be  in  want  of  rain  whilst  they 
devoutly  asked  it  of  the  cross."  ...  "  Dr.  Yllescas,  in  his 
Pontifical  (lib.  6,  chap.  23,  §  8),  also  says  that  they  had  a  god, 
in  the  shape  of  a  cross,  which  they  regarded  as  the  god  of 
rain.''"'     .     .     . 

Without  a  knowledge  of  the  Maya  language  and  of  the 
symbolism  of  the  Maya  occultists,  it  would  be  well-nigh 
impossible  to  understand  why  a  quail,  a  bird,  in  full  plumage, 
is  figured  perched  on  the  top  of  the  cross;  why  the  cross  is 
planted  on  a  skull;  why  devotees  offered  sacrifices  of  birds  to 
the  god  of  rain.  The  explanation,  however,  is  most  simple. 
The  bird  on  the  top  of  the  cross  typifies  the  seed  deposited  in 
the  ground  at  the  beginning  of  the  rainy  season,  and  placed  in 
the  keeping  of  the  god  of  rain,  invoked  as  protector  of  the 
fields.  Chiicli  is  the  Maya  generic  name  for  "  bird;  "  but  it 
also  means  "seed,"  and  "to  gather  one  by  one  grains  that 
have  been  scattered","  as  birds  do  in  the  fields,  robbing  the 
owners  of  both  the  seed  and  the  crops.  What,  then,  more 
natural  than  to  offer  their  enemies  in  sacrifice  to  the  god,  to 
the  Yiiniil  col,  the  lord  of  the  crops?     This  is  why  they 


made  offerings  of  birds,  those  destroyers  of  the  crops,  those 
robbers  of  the  seed,  to  the  protector  of  the  fields. 

The  cross  being  planted  on  a  skull  simply  indicates  that 
from  death  springs  life;  that  the  seed  symbolized  by  the  bird 
on  the  top  of  the  cross  must  first  become  decomposed  in  the 
ground  before  coming  again  to  life  in  the  shape  of  a  plant. 

It  is  well  to  notice  that  all  the  ornaments  that,  besides  the 
text,  adorn  the  tablet,  are  either  leaves,  flowers,  or  some  other 
parts  of  the  living  plant,  showing  that  the  temple,  where  it 
was  placed,  was  dedicated  to  the  god,  protector  of  agriculture. 


Let  us  revert  to  our  inquiry  concerning  the  customs  observed 
at  funerals  by  both  Mayas  and  Egyptians.  We  will  examine 
one  or  two  so  remarkable  that  they  cannot  be  honestly  attrib- 
uted to  mere  coincidence. 

"We  have  seen  that  in  Mayacli,  as  in  India,  Chaldea, 
Egjrpt,  and  many  other  countries,  a  certain  kind  of  ape  was 
held  sacred;  its  worship  being,  no  doubt,  closely  related  to 
that  of  ancestors.  But  how  came  the  cynocephalus  to  be  con- 
nected in  Egypt  with  the  rites  of  the  dead  ?  This  species  of 
monkey  is  not  a  native  of  Egypt,  but  is  of  Central  America, 
where  it  is  very  abundant. 

Thoth,  the  god  of  wisdom  and  letters,  was  the  reputed 
preceptor  of  Isis  and  Osiris.  He  was  supposed  to  hold  the 
office  of  scribe  in  Amenti,  where  his  business  was  to  note 
down  the  actions  of  the  dead,  and  present  or  read  the  record  of 
them  to  Osiris  while  sitting  as  judge  of  the  lower  regions. 
Thoth,  in  that  ca]3acity,  is  represented  as  a  cjaiocephalus  mon- 
key, in  a  sitting  posture.  He  is  thus  frequently'  portrayed 
seated  on  the  top  of  the  balance  in  the  judgment  scenes,  and 


regarded  as  the  second  of  the  gods  of  the  dead.  In  May- 
ach,  also,  Baao,  the  cynocephalus,  was  the  attendant  of  the 
"  god  of  death,"  and  always  represented  in  a  kneeling  posture. 

During  our  sojourn  at  Uxmal  we  surveyed  a  ruined  edifice 
little  known  to  visitors,  although  quite  extensive.  On  the  sum- 
mit of  the  pyramid,  forming  the  north  side,  is  a  shrine  com- 
posed of  two  apartments,  one  smaller  than  the  other.  The 
smaller,  the  sanctum  sanctorum,  can  only  be  reached  by  pass- 
ing through  the  larger.  Opposite  the  doorway  of  the  front 
chamber,  and  at  the  head  of  the  steep  stairway  leading  to  the 
yard,  is  a  round  stone  altar  where,  Landa  tells  us,  human  vic- 
tims were  immolated,  as  offerings  to  the  deity.  At  the  foot  of 
those  stairs  is  a  large  rectangular  platform,  one  metre  high. 
The  sides  were  once  composed  of  slabs  covered  with  inscrip- 
tions beautifully  sculptured  in  intaglio  to  make  them  more 
lasting.  Having  been  submitted  to  the  action  of  fire,  the 
characters  have  become  well  nigh  obliterated.  On  several  of 
the  slabs  that  had  happened  to  fall  face  downward,  the  writing 
is  well  preserved. 

The  centre  of  the  platform  was  occupied  by  a  huge  statue 
of  the  Yum  cimil,  "god  of  death,"  represented  by  a  skeleton 
in  a  squatting  posture.  His  attendants  were  six  cynocephali, 
kneeling  as  if  in  prayer  (Plate  XXIV.),  placed  on  each  side  of 
him,  one  at  each  corner  of  the  platform,  one  between  these  in 
the  middle  of  the  east  and  west  sides.  The  god  of  death  faced 
south,  where  his  kingdom  was  supposed  to  be  situated. 

In  the  present  state  of  our  knowledge  it  is  difficult  to 
surmise  why  that  species  of  ape  came  to  be  connected,  in 
Mayach,  with  the  rites  of  the  dead.  We  might,  perhaps, 
find  the  explanation  by  translating  the  inscriptions  that 
adorned  the  platform,  at  least  what  remains  of  them.     Is  it  a 


mere  coincidence  that  in  Egypt,  as  in  Mayach,  cynocephali 
were  thus  associated  with  the  king  of  the  dead  ?  That  such 
was  the  fact  there  is  no  doubt.  But  who  can  to-day  tell  what 
circumstances  concurred  to  originate  it  ?  The  cynocephalus  is 
a  native  of  Ethiopia,  not  of  Egypt.'  It  is  also  indigenous  of 
Yucatan  and  other  parts  of  Central  America. 

Images  of  cynocephali,  always  in  the  attitude  of  prayer, 
are  found  in  many  places  in  Yucatan,  as  well  as  in  Copan 
(Honduras)  and  Guatemala.^  Baao  and  Chuen,  of  whose 
metamorphosis  into  monkeys  we  read  in  the  "  Popol-vuh, " ' 
and  which  is  said  to  have  taken  place  in  Xibalba,  the  lower 
regions,  the  kingdom  of  darkness,  were  worshipped  in  May- 
ach, particularly  in  Yucatan  and  Oaxaca.^ 

Baao  and  Chuen  are  the  names  of  personages  who  lived 
in  times  anterior  to  those  when  King  Caiichi  and  his  family 
reigned  over  Mayach.  Their  history  has  come  to  us,  in  the 
sacred  book  of  the  Quiches,  in  the  form  of  a  myth.  Deified 
after  their  death,  as  aU  rulers  were,  the  generations  that  fol- 
loAved  them  paid  them  divine  homage.  Baao  is  the  Maya 
word  for  " cynocephalus."  The  meaning  of  the  name  Chuen 
is  now  lost.  We  only  find  it  as  that  of  the  eighth  day  of  the 

Like  the  Mayas/  the  Egyptians  regarded  the  West  as  the 
region   of   darkness,  the  place  where  the  souls  of   the  dead 

'  Plinius,  Hist.  Nat.,  viii.  54  ;  vii.  3. 

'  Horapollo,  Ilierogly.,  lib.  i.,  14,  15.  In  astronomical  subjects  two 
cynocepliali  are  frequently  represented  standing  in  a  boat  in  attitude  of 
prayer  before  the  sun. 

^  Popol-Vuh,  part  ii.,  chap,  vii.,  et passim. 

*  Fray  Qeronimo  Roman,  liepublica  de  las  Indias  Ocddentales,  lib.  ii., 
cap.  XV. 

°  Codcv  Cortcaianus;  plate  viii. 

QUEEN  m60  and  TEE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  117 

returned  to  the  bosom  of  their  ancestors  in  the  realms  of 
Amenti.  There  King  Osiris  sat  on  a  throne  in  the  midst  of 
the  waters ;  there,  also,  it  was  that  Thoth  performed  his  office 
of  scribe.  "Was,  then,  the  worship  of  the  cynocephalus,  his 
totem,  brought  to  Egypt  from  the  Lands  of  the  West  ? 

Another  funeral  custom  among  the  Egyptians,  mentioned 
by  ChampoUion  Figeac  ^  and  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,^  was  that 
of  placing  the  right  arm  of  the  mummies  of  distinguished  per- 
sons across  the  chest,  so  that  the  right  hand  rested  on  the  left 
shoulder.  We  find  that  this  same  custom  obtained  in  May- 
acli.  We  shall  refer  to  it  more  at  length,  later  on,  when 
explaining  the  sculptures  that  ornamented  Prince  Coh's 

If  we  examine  the  ornaments  worn  by  the  personages  rep- 
resented by  the  atlantes,  those  portrayed  in  the  bas-reliefs  on 
the  jambs  of  the  doorway  and  on  the  antse  that  supported  the 
entablature  of  the  portico  of  Prince  Coh's  Memorial  Hall, 
likenesses,  probably,  of  individuals  who  lived  Avhen  the  struc- 
ture Avas  erected,  who  Avere,  no  doubt,  friends  and  relatives  of 
the  deceased  prince,  we  find  that  said  ornaments  consisted  of 
ear-rings,  nose-rings,  nose-studs,  armlets,  bracelets,  anklets, 
garters,  necklaces,  breastplates,  and  finger-rings.  From  times 
immemorial  to  our  day,  the  same  kind  of  jeAvelry  has  been 
used  in  India,  Chaldea,  Asia  Minor,  Egypt,  and  Greece.  Nose 
rings  and  studs,  however,  seem  to  have  been  ornaments  essen- 
tially belonging  to  the  Western  Continent.  They  are  still  as 
much  the  prcA^alent  adornment  among  the  tribes  living  on  the 
banks  of  the  upper  Amazon  Eiver  and  its  affluents,  in  the  very 

'  ChampoUion  Figeac,  L^Vhivers,  Egypte,  p.  261. 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  ill.,  chap,  xvi., 
p.  486. 


heart  of  the  southern  American  continent,'  and  with  the 
majority  of  the  Mexican  tribes,^  as  they  were  among  the 
Mayas  even  at  the  time  of  the  Spanish  Conquest.^  They  are 
habitually  worn  by  women  of  all  classes  in  India;  ^  by  Arab 
women  of  Mesopotamia,^  as  they  were  by  Jewish  women  in  the 
time  of  Isaiah.  He  threatened  the  daughters  of  Zion,  on 
account  of  their  haughtiness,  with  the  loss  of  their  ornaments, 
among  which  were  their  rings  and  other  nose  jewels.*  So 
far  as  we  know,  nose-rings  and  nose-studs  were  not  in  vogue 
among  the  ancient  Aryans.  They,  therefore,  did  not  intro- 
duce the  custom  of  wearing  such  ornaments  in  the  countries 
they  invaded.  Said  custom  must  have  been  brought  to  Asia, 
in  very  remote  ages,  by  immigrants  from  America.  It  is  a 
noticeable  fact  that  it  only  obtained  in  countries  where  vestiges 
of  the  Mayas  and  their  civilization  are  found. 

Must  we  regard  as  a  mere  coincidence  the  use  of  these  nose 
and  lip  ornaments  that,  to  us,  seem  not  only  extremely  incon- 
venient, but  rather  disfiguring  than  beautifying  the  face  of  the 
wearer,  yet  so  prevalent  among  many  peoples  living  thousands 
of  miles  apart,  knowing  nothing  of  each  other's  existence? 

Perhaps  those  knowing  professors  who  pretend  to  ex^Dlain 
all  these  identical  customs  existing  in  so  many  diverse  nations, 
by  the  tendency  of  the  human  mind,  in  its  struggles  to  free 

'  Paul  Marcoy  (Lorenzo  de  Saint-Bricq),  Travels  in  South  Atneriea, 
vol.  ii. 

"  Bancroft,  Native  Races  of  America,  vol.  i. 

=  Diego  de  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  YucatTian,  lib.  xii.,  cliap.  vii.,  p.  699. 
Diego  de  Landa,  Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,  p.  183. 

■*  C.  F.  Gordon  Gumming,  In  the  Himalayas  and  on  the  Indian  Plains, 
chap,  iv.,  p.  90.  Bishop  Heber,  Narratives  of  a  Journey  through  the  Upper 
Provinces  of  India,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  179,  188. 

°  Henry  Layard,  Ninepeh  and  Babylon,  pp.  153-262. 

°  Isaiah,  chap,  iii.,  verse  21. 


itself  from  the  darkness  of  barbarism,  when  placed  in  similar 
conditions,  to  act  in  the  same  manner  and  repeat  the  same 
actions,  will  find  here  an  incontrovertible  proof  of  the  accu- 
racy of  their  pet  theory.  But  we  who  want  more  than  theo- 
ries, who  require  proofs  for  every  scientific  or  historical  fact 
asserted,  will  ask  them,  How  is  it  that  the  strange  custom 
of  wearing  rings  hanging  from  the  nose  or  lips,  or  studs  fast- 
ened on  either  or  both  sides  of  the  nose,  has  obtained  and  does 
still  obtain  with  peoples  who  have  had  intimate  relations  with 
the  ancient  Mayas,  and  with  these  only  ? 

"Who  can  assign  limits  to  the  extravagance  of  the  votaries 
of  fashion,  that  most  merciless  of  tyrants  ?  In  all  times,  in  all 
countries,  it  has  held,  and  still  holds,  sway  over  them,  be  they 
civilized  or  savage.  It  incites  them  to  deck  their  bodies  with 
the  most  ridiculous  and  unbecoming  appendages  under  pretext 
of  adorning  them;  and  they,  its  slaves,  humbly  obey. 

Next  to  these  nose  and  lip  jewels,  the  ornament  that  most 
attracts  attention  in  the  portraits  represented  in  the  sculptures 
and  paintings  of  the  Maya  artists  is  the  necklace,  of  which 
there  is  a  great  variety,  worn  by  persons  of  rank.  It  would 
seem  that  it  was  used  as  a  badge  of  authority,  as  was  the 
breastplate,  since  some  neoldaces  bear  a  notable  resemblance 
to  those  seen  round  the  necks  of  the  images  of  the  gods  and 
goddesses  in  Egypt.  "We  know  that  there,  as  in  Chaldea  and 
many  other  countries,  they  were  bestowed  on  the  wearers 
as  a  mark  of  royal  favor;*  whilst  armlets  and  bracelets  were 
tokens  of  rank,  seldom  worn  except  by  officers  of  the  court  or 
persons  of  distinction.^ 

'  Genesis,  chap,  xli.,  verse  43.  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Cus- 
toms, vol.  iii.,  p.  370. 

'  Rawlinson,  2'Ae  Five  Monarchies,  vol.  i.,  p.  568  ;  vol.  iii.,  p.  370. 


Before  entering  the  funeral  chamber,  let  us  examine  the 
graceful  decorations  that  embellished  the  entablature  of  the 
Memorial  Hall.  From  them  we  shall  learn  by  whom,  to  whom, 
and  for  what  purpose  it  was  erected.  Properly  speaking,  there 
is  not  a  single  inscription,  not  a  single  letter  or  character,  on 
any  part  of  the  building ;  and  yet  the  architect  who  conceived 
the  plan,  and  had  it  executed,  so  cleverly  arranged  the  orna- 
ments that  they  form  the  dedication.  We  must,  of  course, 
read  it  in  the  Maya  language.     (Plate  XXXV.) 

Beginning  at  the  top  of  the  entablature,  we  notice  that  the 
first  line  of  ornaments  represents  a  rope  loosely  twisted,  and 
that  within  the  open  strands  there  are  circles.  This  ornament 
is  three  times  repeated. 

One  of  the  names  for  rope,  in  Maya,  is  kaan.  There  are 
two  words  for  circle,  hoi  and  iiol.  Taking  hoi  to  be  the  first 
syllable  of  a  dissyllable  suggested  by  the  two  distinct  objects 
that  compose  the  ornament,  and  kaan  to  be  the  second,  we 
have,  by  changing  the  k  into  c,  the  word  holcan,  which 
means  a  "warrior."  Holcan,'  moreover,  was  a  title  corre- 
'  Landa,  Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,  §  xxix.,  p.  17-1. 

Plate  XXXV. 

Page  121. 

Plate  XXXVI. 


spending  to  our  modern  captain-general.  The  repetition  of  a 
word  is  one  form  of  superlative.  Hence  the  word  holcan 
three  times  repeated  would  read  the  "  very  valiant,"  the  "  war- 
rior of  warriors,"  the  "  w&vv\oy par  excellence.'''' 

The  most  prominent  ornament  in  the  second  line  represents 
a  series  of  knots  or  joints  of  the  bamboo  cane.  Moc  is  the 
generic  Maya  word  for  "  knot. "  This  bamboo  joint  or  knot  is 
often  used  as  totem  of  Queen  Moo,  whose  name  is  the  radical 
or  first  syllable  of  the  verb  luoocol,  "  to  knot,"  and  of  many 
other  words  the  meaning  of  which  is  "to  join,"  "  to  tie,"  etc. 

On  the  same  line  there  are  also  four  circles,  and  a  fish  on 
each  side  of  the  series  of  knots.  Cay  is  the  Maya  for  "  fish." 
It  was  the  name  of  the  highpriest,  elder  brother  of  Queen 
M6o.  His  totem  on  the  monuments  is  always  a  fish.  (Plate 
XXXVI.)  Taking  each  of  the  circles  that  accompany  the  fish 
as  a  unit,  we  have  the  numerical  "four,"  can,  a  word  that, 
as  Ave  have  already  seen,'  has  many  meanings  in  the  Maya 
language.  It  is,  as  the  English  word  cmi,  always  connected 
with  power  and  might.  In  this  instance  it  signifies  "  to 
speak,"  and,  by  extension,  "to  testify,"  particularly  if  we 
consider  that  the  word  uol,  besides  circle,  also  means  "  to 
desire,"  "to  wish."  The  ornament  composed  of  four  circles 
and  a  fish,  then,  signifies  that  Cay,  the  pontiff,  wishes  to 
speak,  to  testify. 

On  the  third  line  we  again  find  the  circles  uol  many  times 
repeated,  which  in  this  case  should  be  translated  "to  ear- 
nestly desire,"  "to  crave."  These  circles  are  separated  by 
reedings,  that  form,  as  it  were,  a  kind  of  frame  around  the 
knots  in  the  centre  of  the  second  line,  to  indicate  that  the 
action  represented  by  this  ornament  is  directly  connected  with 
'  TTbi  supra,  p.  93. 


the  person  whose  totem  said  knots  are.  These  reedings  are 
composed  of  straight  lines  carved  in  the  stone,  and  are  sur- 
rounded by  a  border. 

To  cut  or  carve  straight  lines  in  a  hard  substance  with  a 
sharp-pointed  tool  is  expressed  by  the  simple  word  ppaay,  in 
Maya.  Chi  is  the  word  for  border.  The  whole  ornament,  then, 
gives  the  word  ppaay chi.  But  payalchi  is  a  "praj'^er," 
an  "invocation;"  and  ppaachi  is  "to  make  an  offering," 
"  to  make  a  vow. "  The  duplication  of  the  ornament  indicates 
the  earnestness  of  the  vow,  or  the  fervor  with  which  the 
offering  is  made. 

The  leopards  are  the  totem,  hence  the  name  of  the  hero  to 
whose  memory  the  hall  was  erected.  By  these  we  learn  that 
he  was  called  Coh.  As  to  the  shields  covered  with  leopard 
skin,  they  are  the  badges  of  his  profession,  which,  from  the 
ropes  with  circles  within  their  open  strands,  we  have  already 
learned  was  that  of  a  M^arrior. 

Translating  this  dedication  into  English,  it  reads:  "Cay, 
the  highpriest,  desires  to  hear  witness  that  Moo  luis  made  this 
offering,  earnestly  invoking  Coh,  the  warrior  of  warriors." 

Does  not  this  recall  to  mind  the  invocations  of  the  two 
sisters,  Isis  and  ISTike,  in  the  book  of  Lamentations;'  and  in 
that  of  "  Glorifying  Osiris  in  Aquerti  "  ?^ 

As  we  are  about  to  enter  the  funeral  chamber,  hallowed  by 
the  love  of  the  sister-wife.  Queen  Moo,  the  beauty  of  the 
carvings  on  the  zapote  beam  that  forms  the  lintel  of  the 
doorway  calls  our  attention.  (Plates  XXXVII. -XXXYIII.) 
Here  is  represented  the  antagonism  of  the  brothers  Aac 
and  Coh,  that  led  to  tlie  murder  of  the  latter  by  the  former. 

'  Translation  of  Mr.  Horrack. 
^  Translation  of  Mr.  Picrret. 

Page  122. 

Plate  XXXriI. 

Page  122. 

Plata  XXXVIII. 


Carved  in  the  lintel  are  the  names  of  these  personages,  rep- 
resented by  their  totems — a  leopard-head  for  Coh ;  and  a 
boar-head  as  well  as  a  turtle  for  Aac,  this  word  meaning 
both  boar  and  turtle  in  Maya.  Aac  is  pictured  within  the 
disk  of  the  sun,  his  protective  deity,  which  he  worshipped, 
according  to  mural  inscriptions  at  Uxmal.  Full  of  anger 
he  faces  his  brother.  In  his  right  hand  there  is  a  badge  orna- 
mented with  feathers  and  flowers.  The  threatening  way 
in  which  this  is  held  suggests  a  concealed  weapon.  Among 
the  people  of  Tahiti,  eloquent  bards  went  to  battle  among  the 
warriors,  inciting  them  with  glowing  words ;  those  orators  car- 
ried a  bunch  of  green  leaves  which  served  to  hide  a  dangerous 
weapon  made  from  the  bone  of  the  sting-ray.^  A  fell  intent 
disguised  beneath  blossoms  suggests  the  treacherous  way  in 
which  Coh  was  slain. 

The  face  of  Coh,  also,  expresses  anger.  With  him  is  the 
feathered  serpent,  emblem  of  royalty,  thence  of  the  country, 
more  often  represented  as  a  winged  serpent  protecting  Coh. 
In  his  left  hand  he  holds  his  weapons,  down;  while  his 
right  hand  clasps  his  badge  of  authority,  with  which  he 
covers  his  breast  as  if  for  protection,  and  demanding  the 
respect  due  to  his  rank. 

So  in  Mayach  as  in  Egypt,  ^  and  in  every  place  Avhere 
Maya  civilization  has  penetrated,  Ave  find  the  sun  and  the  ser- 
pent inimical  to  each  other.  Are  we  to  see  in  the  Egyptian 
niA^th  of  Plorus  (the  sun)  killing  the  serpent  Aphophis,  by 
piercing  his  head  with  a  lance,  a  tradition  of  the  hostility  of  the 
brothers  Aac  and  Coh  in  Mayach  ?    Both  belonged  to  the 

'  Ellis  (W.),  Polynesian  Eeseardies,  vol.  i.,  cliap.  xi.,  p.  387. 
^  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners   and    Customs,  vol.    iii.,  chap,   xiii., 
pp.  59,  144,  154. 


Can  (serpent)  dynasty.  In  Greece  we  find  a  reflection  of  the 
Egyptian  myth  in  the  fable  of  Apollo  (the  sun)  killing  the 
serpent  Python.     In  the  "  Mahabharata  "  Krishna — that  is, 


the  god  Vishnu  in  his  eighth  avatar — kills  the  serpent  Anantha, 
the  seven-headed,  enemy  of  the  gods,  when  he  was  wresthng 
with  the  goddess  Parvati.^ 

During  their  captivity  in  Babylon,  the  Jews,  among  other 
legends  of  the  Chaldees,  learned  the  tradition  of  the  enmitj'- 
between  the  woman  and  the  serpent,  that  Hilkiah,  the  high- 
priest,^  introduced  at  the  beginning  of  Genesis.^  The  Chris- 
tians received  it  from  the  Jews;  and  to  this  day  the  Church 

'  J.  T.  Wheeler,  MahablMrata,  vol.  i.,  "  Legends  of  Krishna." 
^  2  Kings,  chiip.  xxii.,  verses  8-10  ;  also  2  Chron.,  chap,  xxxiv.,  verse 
15.     See  Appendix,  note  xvii. 
'  Genesis,  chap,  ii.,  verse  15. 


of  Eome  always  pictures  the  Virgin  Mary  with  a  serpent 
coiled  at  her  feet.  So,  also,  we  see  the  Goddess  Maya  in 
Japan.  She  is  represented  standing  on  a  rock,  the  name  of 
which  is  symbolized  by  a  dragon  encircling  it  with  its  body, 
its  head  resting  at  her  feet.  In  her  hand  she  holds  aloft  a 
branch  of  the  mangrove  tree,  bearing  fruit.  This  is  the  totem, 
or  name,  of  her  family,  Canchi.  The  mangrove  tree  and 
its  fruit  are  called  Canche  in  the  Maya  language;  that  is, 
"serpent  wood,"  from  the  appearance  of  its  contorted  roots, 
that  resemble  snakes.  It  is  well,  in  this  connection,  to 
remember  that  even  at  the  time  of  the  Spanish  Conquest  the 
Maya  Empire  was  called  Nolicaii,  the  great  serpent,  and 
also  beb,  the  mulberry  tree,^  and  the  authors  of  the  Troano 
MS.  and  of  the  Cortesianus  always  represented  the  Maya 
Empire  either  as  a  tree  rooted  in  the  South  American  continent, 
or  as  a  serpent — sometimes  with,  sometimes  without,  wings.  In 
another  work  I  have  shown,  when  speaking  of  the  relation  of 
the  tree  and  the  serpent  with  the  country  in  the  middle  of  the 
land,'  that  Yuen-leao-fan,  a  very  ancient  commentator  on  the 
"Chou-King,"  says  that  han  means  the  trunk  of  a  tree,  and 
tclii  are  the  branches. 

Passing  between  the  figures  of  armed  chieftains  sculptured 
on  the  jambs  of  the  doorway,  and  seeming  like  sentinels  guard- 
ing the  entrance  of  the  funeral  K  chamber,  we  notice  one 
wearing  a  headdress  similar  to  the  /  V  crown  of  Lower  Egypt, 
which  formed  part  of  the  Pshent  ^A\  of  the  Egyptian  mon- 
archs.  We  step  into  the  hallowed  place  with  as  much  rever- 
ence as  if  the  body  of  the  dead  hero  still  lay  in  state  within 
its  walls  after  being  prepared  for  cremation. 

'  Cogolludo,  Iliit.  de  Tucathan,  lib.  i,,  chap.  i. 
^  A.  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  etc.,  p.  127. 


Does  not  the  memory  of  his  life,  of  his  exploits  in  war,  of 
the  bitter  hatred  of  his  brother  Aac,  of  his  death  at  the 
hand  of  the  friend  of  his  childhood,  still  hover  there?  So, 
also,  that  of  the  love  of  his  sister-wife,  M6o,  who,  we  know, 
ordered  the  erection  of  this  monument  to  perpetuate  it;  of  his 
friends,  who  shed  tears  *  for  their  companion  ia  pleasure,  their 
brave  leader  in  battle,  and  whose  effigies  supported  the  altar 
on  which  ofPerings  were  made  to  his  manes ;  of  a  whole  nation 
that  mourned  the  untimely  end  of  their  beloved  ruler — he 
who  brought  glory,  power,  and  happiness  to  the  people  ?  In 
so  saying,  I  am  but  the  mouthpiece  of  the  author  of  that 
celebrated  Maya  book,  the  Troano. 

'  Troauo  MS.,  part  ii.,  plate  xvi.,  lower  compartment. 


It  w-as  with  conflicting  sentiments  of  awe  and  disgust  that 
we  contemplated  the  walls  bj''  which  we  were  surrounded. 
Many  before  us  had  visited  this  apartment,  and,  by  inscribing 
their  names,  disfigured  what  remained  of  the  fresco  paintings 
that  once  covered  those  waUs  from  the  plinth  to  the  apex  of 
the  triangular  arch  forming  the  ceiling.  Of  these  we  saved, 
by  making  accurate  tracings,  all  that  was  possible,  noting  the 
various  colors  in  each  part.  The  tints  were  stiU  bright, 
some  even  brilliant.  It  seemed  as  if  we  had  been  transported  to 
one  of  the  royal  tombs  at  Thebes,  or  to  the  cave  temples  in 
the  island  of  Elephanta,^  only  here  the  artists  Avere  less  tram- 
melled by  conventionalities  in  art.  Their  designs,  freer,  truer 
to  nature,  more  correct  in  their  delineations,  particularly  of 
the  human  body,  show  that  the  artists  who  executed  them 
were  masters  in  the  art  of  drawing.^  Like  the  Egyptian,  the 
Chaldee,    and  the    Hindoo   artists,   the    Mayas  Avere   little 

"  Henry  Grose,  Voyage  in  the  Bast  Indies,  cliap.  vii.,  p.  95.  See  Ap- 
pendix, note  xviii. 

'  John  L.  Stephens,  Incidents  of  Travels  in  Yucatan,  vol.  ii.,  p.  311.  See 
Appendix,  note  xi. 


acquainted  with  the  rules  of  perspective.  Their  landscapes 
were,  therefore,  defective.' 

The  frescos  in  the  funeral  chamber  of  Prince  Coh's  Me- 
morial HaU,  painted  in  water  colors  taken  from  the  vegetable 
kingdom,  are  divided  into  a  series  of  tableaux  separated  by 
blue  lines.  The  plinths,  the  angles  of  the  room,  and  the  edges 
of  the  ceiling,  being  likewise  painted  blue,  indicate  that  this 
was  intended  for  a  funeral  chamber.  We  have  already  said  that 
blue  was  the  mourning  color  in  Egypt,  Chaldea,  and  many 
other  places.  The  study  of  the  tableaux  proves  that  the  his- 
tory they  are  meant  to  record  must  be  read  from  right  to  left; 
and,  in  this  instance,  from  below  upward. 

The  first  scene  represents  Queen  Moo  when  yet  a  child. 
She  is  seated  on  the  back  of  a  peccary,  or  American  wild  boar, 
under  the  royal  umbrella  of  feathers,  emblem  of  royalty  in 
Mayach  as  it  was  in  India,  Chaldea,  Egypt,  and  other  places. 
She  is  consulting  a  H-nieii,  or  wise  man ;  listening  with  pro- 
found attention  to  the  decrees  of  fate  as  revealed  by  the  crack- 
ing of  the  shell  of  an  armadillo  exposed  to  a  slow  fire  on  a 
brazier,  the  condensing  on  it  of  the  vapor,  and  the  various 
tints  it  assumes.     (Plate  XXXIX.) 

This  mode  of  divination  is  one  of  the  customs  of  the 
Mayas  that  tends  to  show  the  influence  of  their  civilization 
on  Asiatic  populations,  even  on  that  of  the  Chinese  who  seem 
to  have  adopted  many  Maya  customs — unless  it  be  again 
argued  that  they  are  mere  coincidences  :  for  instance,  their 
mythical  traditions  of  the  Tchi,  those  children  of  Tien-Hoang, 
who  had  the  hody  of  a  serjjent,  and  lived  in  times  anterior  to 
Ti-Hoang,  sovereign  of   the  "country  in  the  middle  of  the 

'  William  Osburn,  Monumental  History  of  Egypt,  p.  360.  See  Appendix, 
note  xi. 

Plate  XXXIX. 


land,"  mentioned  in  the  "  Chou-King,"  that  calls  to  mind  the 
empire  of  the  Mayas  situated  in  the  middle  of  the  "Western 
Continent,  whose  contour  was  that  of  a  serpent,  whose  sover- 
eigns were  the  Cans,  or  serpents;  also  the  yellow  color,  prerog- 
ative of  the  royal  family  in  China  as  in  Mayach.  Why  have 
the  Chinese  a  dragon  on  their  imperial  banner?  Long,  "the 
winged  dragon,"  s&j  the  Chinese,  is  the  being  that  excels  in 
understanding.  It  is  therefore  among  them  the  emblem  of  the 
god  of  intelligence,  keeping  watch  over  the  tree  of  knowledge. 

Does  not  this  "winged  dragon"  recall  the  "winged  ser- 
pent," emblem  of  the  Maya  Empire,  also  figured  as  a  tree; 
and  was  not  that  tree  the  site  of  ancient  culture,  civilization, 
and  knowledge  ?  Again,  on  great  and  solemn  state  occasions, 
a  precisely  similar  mode  of  consulting  fate,  by  the  emperor,  to 
that  pictured  in  the  first  tableau  is  still  performed  in  China. 
It  is  called  the  ceremony  of  Pou,  in  which,  instead  of  an  arma- 
dillo, a  turtle  called  Kuri  is  the  victim. ' 

Returning  to  the  description  of  the  tableau:  in  front  of 
the  young  queen  Moo,  and  facing  her,  is  seated  the  sooth- 
sayer, evidently  a  priest  of  high  rank,  judging  from  the  col- 
ors, blue  and  j'ellow,  of  the  feathers  of  his  ceremonial  mantle, 

'  In  the  fourth  chapter,  entitled  "Hong-Pan,"  of  the  fourth  part  of  the 
Chou-King,  at  the  seventh  paragraph,  Sloka  20,  we  read  :  "In  all  dubious 
cases  the  king  selects  an  officer  wliose  duty  it  is  to  consult  fate.  When  in- 
stalled in  office  he  examines  Pou." 

Sloka  31  :  "This  examination  comprehends  :  1st,  the  vapor  in  form  of 
dew  ;  2d,  the  vapor  when  it  vanislies  in  the  air  ;  3d,  the  color,  dark  or  dull, 
of  the  shell  ;  4th,  the  isolated  cracks  on  the  shell  ;  5th,  the  cracks  that  cross 
each  other,  and  those  that  are  joined  together." 

They  believed  tliat  by  these  means  they  consulted  the  spirits  Kuei,  and 
only  used  this  mode  of  divination  when  the  knowledge  sought  could  not 
be  otherwise  obtained,  and  was  of  great  moment.     It  is  well  to  notice  that 
the  name  Ku-ei,  given  to  the  spirits  by  the  Chinese,  is  identical  with  Ku 
"  the  Supreme  Intelligence,"  among  the  Mayas  and  Egyptians. 


and  as  behooves  the  dignity  of  the  consulter;  he  reads  the 
decrees  of  fate  on  the  shell  of  the  armadillo,  and  the  scroll 
issuing  from  his  throat  says  what  they  are.  By  him  stands 
the  winged  serpent,  emblem  and  protective  genius  of  the 
Maya  Empire.  His  head  is  turned  toward  the  royal  banner, 
which  he  seems  to  caress;  his  satisfaction  is  reflected  in  the 
mild  and  pleased  expression  of  his  face.  Behind  the  priest, 
the  position  of  whose  hand  is  the  same  as  that  of  Catholic 
priests  in  blessing  their  congregation,  and  the  significance  of 
which  is  well  known  to  occultists,  are  the  ladies-in-waiting 
of  the  young  queen. 

I  forbear  now  to  read  the  meaning  of  the  scroll,  because  its 
colors  are  here  wanting;  otherwise  it  would  be  an  easy  matter, 
knowing  as  I  do  the  history  of  the  lady,  the  import  of  the  colors 
among  the  Mayas,  and  that  of  the  shape  of  the  lines  forming 
the  scrolls — image  of  speech  in  their  paintings  and  sculpture. 

In  another  tableau  (Plate  XL.)  we  again  see  Queen  Moo,  no 
longer  a  child,  but  a  comely  young  woman.  She  is  not  seated 
under  the  royal  umbrella  or  banner,  but  she  is  once  more  in 
the  presence  of  the  H-nieii,  whose  face  is  concealed  b}^  a  mask 
representing  an  oavI's  head. 

She,  pretty  and  coquettish,  has  many  admirers  who  vie  with 
each  other  for  the  honor  of  her  hand.  In  company  with  one 
of  her  wooers  she  comes  to  consult  the  jiriest,  accompanied  by 
an  old  lady,  her  grandmother  probably,  and  her  female  attend- 
ants. According  to  custom  the  old  lad}'  is  the  spokeswoman. 
She  states  to  the  priest  that  the  young  man,  he  who  sits  on  a 
low  stool  between  the  two  female  attendants,  desires  to  marry 
the  queen.  The  priest's  attendant,  seated  also  on  a  stool,  back 
of  all,  acts  as  crier,  and  repeats  in  a  loud  voice  the  speech  of 
the  old  lady. 

Page,  ISO. 

Plats  XL. 

PagR  131. 

Plain  XLI. 


The  young  queen  refuses  the  offer.  The  refusal  is  indicated 
by  the  direction  of  the  scroll  issuing  from  her  mouth.  It  is 
turned  backward,  instead  of  forward  toward  the  priest  as 
would  be  the  case  if  she  assented  to  the  marriage. 

The  H-men  explains  that  Moo,  being  a  daughter  of  the 
royal  family,  by  law  and  custom  must  marry  one  of  her 
brothers.'  The  youth  listens  to  the  decision  with  due  respect 
for  the  priest,  as  shown  by  his  arm  being  placed  across  his 
breast,  the  left  hand  resting  on  the  right  shoulder.  He  does 
not  accept  the  refusal  in  a  meek  spirit,  however.  His  clinched 
fist,  his  foot  raised,  as  if  in  the  act  of  stamping,  betoken  anger 
and  disappointment,  while  the  attendant  behind  him  expostu- 
lates, counselling  patience  and  resignation,  judging  by  the  posi- 
tion and  expression  of  her  extended  left  hand,  palm  upward. 

Herodotus  tells  us'  "that  the  Egyptians  observed  the  cus- 
toms of  their  ancestors  and  did  not  adopt  new  ones."  Among 
them  there  were  two  tokens  of  respect  used  by  inferiors  in 
the  presence  of  their  superiors.  They  are  remarkable  enough 
to  arrest  the  attention  of  any  one  inquiring  into  their  manners 
and  customs. 

One  consisted  in  placing  an  arm  across  the  chest,  the  hand 
resting  on  the  opposite  shoulder;  the  other,  in  putting  the 
forearm,  the  right  generallj'',  across  the  chest — the  hand,  with 
closed  fingers,  being  over  the  heart.'    (Plate  XLI.) 

'  It  was  the  law  among  the  Mayas,  that,  in  order  to  preserve  the  royal 
blood  from  admixture  and  contamination,  the  girls  should  marry  their 
brothers.  Tlie  same  custom  obtained  in  Egypt,  Chaldea,  Greece,  and 
many  other  places  from  the  remotest  antiquity.  The  gods  even  observed 
the  practice.  AVe  are  told  that  Jupiter  married  his  sister  Juno.  In  Peru 
and  other  countries  of  the  Western  Continent,  royal  brothers  wedded  their 
royal  sisters. 

°  Herodotus,  Hist.,  lib.  ii.,  Ixxix. 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  illust. 


From  the  remotest  antiquity,  if  we  are  to  judge  by  the 
fresco  paintings  in  the  funeral  chamber  and  the  illustrations  in 
the  Troano  MS.,  the  same  marks  of  respect  obtained  among 
the  Mayas,  and  were  in  vogue  still  at  the  time  of  the  conquest 
of  Yucatan  by  the  Spaniards,  according  to  Father  CogoUudo.' 
The  Mayas  usually  placed  the  left  arm  across  the  chest,  letting 
the  left  hand  rest  on  the  right  shoulder. 

The  natives  of  Yucatan,  British  Honduras,  Peten,  and  the 
countries  bordering  on  Guatemala  still  use  these  signs,  among 
themselves,  when  their  white  neighbors  are  not  present.  (Plates 
XLII.-XLIII.)  Before  their  white  superiors  they  either  stand 
erect,  hat  in  hand,  their  arms  hanging  by  their  sides,  as  is 
customary  with  soldiers  in  presence  of  their  officers;  or  with 
both  arms  crossed  over  their  chest. 

Can  this  similarity  of  signs  of  respect,  common  to  both 
Mayas  and  Egyptians,  be  a  simple  coincidence?  If  so,  then 
what  of  the  identity  of  the  dress  of  the  Egyptian  and  the  Maya 
laborers ;  ^  of  the  gifts  of  cloaks  to  the  victors  in  athletic 
games  in  Egypt '  and  Mayach  ;  *  of  the  great  respect  professed 
for  their  elders  by  the  Egyptians '  and  the  Mayas ; '  of  their 
carrying  children  astride  the  hip ; '  of  their  hatred  of  for- 
eigners ;  ^  of  the  year  beginning  on  about  the  same  daj^  (cor- 
responding to  the  middle  of  our  month  of  July)  in  Egypt  as 

'  Diego  de  CogoUudo,  Hist,  de  Yucathan,  lib.  ix.,  cap.  viii.,  p.  489. 

'  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Ciistoms,  etc.,  vol.  ii.,  chap,  x.,  p.  323.  Hero- 
dotus, Hist.,  lib.  ii.,  Ixxxi. 

^  Ibid.,  xci. 

■■  Herrera. 

°  Herodotus,  Hist,  lib.  ii.,  Ixxx. 

"  Landa,  Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,  J  xxx.,  p.  178. 

'  Ibid.,  I  XX.,  p.  112.  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  ii.,  p.  334. 
Appendix,  note  xvi. 

"  Herodotus,  lib.  ii.,  xli.,  xci. 

Page.  132. 

Plate.  XLII. 

Page  132 

Plate.  XLIII. 

T  ■ 

Page  133. 

Plate  XLIV. 



in  Mayacli ; '  and  of  many  other  customs,  the  list  of  which  is 
too  long  to  be  enumerated  in  these  pages — are  these  also  coin- 
cidences? But  if  they  are  not,  what  then?  The  Egyptians 
invariably  following  the  habits  of  their  ancestors,  must  we 
infer  that  they  and  the  Mayas  had  a  common  ancestry  ? 

In  another  tableau  (Plate  XLIV.)  we  see  the  same  individual 
whose  offer  of  marriage  was  rejected  by  the  young  queen,  in 
consultation  with  a  Nubchi,  or  prophet,  a  priest  whose  exalted 
rank  is  indicated  by  his  headdress,  and  the  triple  breastplate  he 
wears  over  his  mantle  of  feathers.  The  consulter,  evidently  a 
personage  of  importance,  has  come  attended  by  his  haclietail, 
or  confidential  friend,  who  sits  behind  him  on  a  cushion.  The 
expression  on  the  face  of  said  consulter  shows  that  he  does 
not  accept  patiently  the  decrees  of  fate,  although  conveyed  by 
the  interpreter  in  as  conciliatory  manner  as  possible.  The 
adverse  decision  of  the  gods  is  manifested  by  the  sharp  pro- 
jecting centre  part  of  the  scroll,  but  it  is  wrapped  in  words  as 
persuasive  and  consoling,  preceded  by  as  smooth  a  preamble  as 
the  rich  and  beautiful  Maya  language  permits  and  makes  easy. 

His  friend  is  addressing  the  prophet's  assistant.  Reflecting 
the  thoughts  of  his  lord,  he  declares  that  the  NubcM's  fine 
discourse  and  his  pretended  reading  of  the  will  of  the  gods 
are  all  nonsense,  and  exclaims  "  Pshaw!  "  which  contemptuous 
exclamation  is  pictured  by  the  yellow  scroll,  pointed  at  both 
ends,  escaping  from  his  nose  like  a  sneeze.  The  answer  of  the 
priest's  assistant,  evidenced  by  the  gra^-ity  of  his  features,  the 
assertive  position  of  his  hand,  and  the  bluntness  of  his  speech, 
is  evidently,  "  It  is  so!  " 

Should  you  ask  occultists  why  the  feet  of  the  consulter  and 

'  Landa,  Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,  §  xxxix.,  p.  236.  Wilkinson,  Manners 
and  Customs,  vol.  iil.,  chap,  xiii ,  p.  107.  Champollion  Pigeac,  D  Univers. 
Egypte,  p.  236.     See  Appendix,  note  xvi. 


of  the  prophet  are  in  such  close  contax3t,  they  would  tell  you 
that  it  is  to  establish  and  maintain  the  magnetic  rapport 
between  them. 

In  another  tableau  (Plate  XLV.)  we  see  a  third,  a  youthful, 
admirer  of  Queen  M<io.  His  name  is  Citam  (peccary).  He 
also  desires  to  peer  into  futurity.  His  headdress  shows  him  to 
belong  to  the  nobility.  In  fact,  he  has  been  Moo's  companion 
of  infancy,  and  accompanied  her  when  she  went  to  the  H-men 
to  consult  the  Pou.  He  comes  naked,  in  humility,  to  ask  the 
aruspice  to  consult  Fate  on  the  motion  of  the  entrails  of  a 
peccary.  The  interpreter  of  the  decrees  of  destiny  points  out 
to  him  the  working  of  the  intestines  of  the  animal,  which  he 
has  cut  open  with  his  sacrificial  adze.  Judging  from  the 
expression  on  his  face,  the  future  shows  itself  full  of  tribula- 
tions. The  young  man  listens  with  sad  and  respectful  attention 
to  the  words  of  the  aruspice.  He  will  submit  to  the  inevita- 
ble. He  will  always  be  Queen  Moo's  stanch  friend  in  her 
days  of  happiness,  never  forsaking  her  in  those  of  adversity. 

Not  so,  however,  her  brother  Aac,  Avho  is  madly  in  love 
with  her.  In  Plate  XLYI.  he  is  not  portrayed  approaching  the 
interpreter  of  the  will  of  the  gods  divested  of  his  garments,  in 
token  of  humility  in  presence  of  their  majesty  and  of  submission 
to  their  decrees.  He  comes  fuU.  of  arrogance,  arrayed  in  gor- 
geous attire,  and  with  regal  pomp.  He  comes  not  as  a  suppli- 
cant, to  ask  and  accept  counsel;  but,  haughty,  he  makes  bold  to 
dictate.  He  is  angered  at  the  refusal  of  the  priest  to  accede 
to  his  demand  for  his  sister  Moo's  hand,  to  whose  totem,  an 
armadillo  on  this  occasion,  he  points  iraperioush'.  It  was  on 
an  armadillo's  shell  that  the  Fates  wrote  her  destinj"-  when  con- 
sulted by  the  performance  of  the  Pou  ceremony.  The  yellow 
flames  of  wrath  darting  from  all  over  his  person,  the  sharp  yel- 

Page  134. 

Plate  XLV. 

Page  134. 

Plate  XL  VI. 

Page  135. 

Plate  XLVII. 

QVEEN  M60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  135 

low  scroll  issuing  from  his  mouth,  symbolize  Aac's  feelings. 
The  pontiff,  however,  is  unmoved  by  them.  In  the  name  of 
the  gods,  with  serene  mien,  he  denies  the  request  of  the  proud 
nobleman,  as  his  speech  indicates.  The  winged  serpent,  genius 
of  the  country,  that  stands  erect  and  ireful  by  Aac,  is  also 
wroth  at  his  pretensions,  and  shows  in  its  features  and  by 
sending  its  dart  through  Aac's  royal  banner,  a  decided  oppo- 
sition to  them,  expressed  by  the  ends  of  his  speech  being 
turned  backward,  some  of  them  terminating  abruptly,  others  in 
sharp  points. 

Prince  Coli  sits  behind  the  priest,  as  one  of  his  attendants. 
He  witnesses  the  scene,  hears  the  calm  negative  answer,  sees 
the  anger  of  his  brother  and  rival,  smiles  at  his  impotence,  is 
happy  at  his  discomfiture.  Behind  him,  however,  sits  a  spy, 
who  wiR  repeat  his  words,  report  his  actions  to  his  enemy. 
He  listens,  he  watches. 

The  highpriest  himself.  Cay,  their  elder  brother,  sees  the 
storm  that  is  brewing  behind  the  dissensions  of  Coh  and 
Aac.  He  trembles  at  the  thought  of  the  misfortunes  that 
will  surely  befall  the  dynasty  of  the  Cans ;  of  the  ruin  and 
misery  of  the  country  that  wiU  certainly  foUow.  Divested  of 
his  priestly  raiment,  he  comes  nude  and  humble,  as  it  is 
proper  for  men  in  presence  of  the  gods,  to  ask  their  advice 
how  best  to  avoid  the  impending  calamities.  The  chief  of  the 
aruspices  is  in  the  act  of  reading  their  decrees  on  the  palpitat- 
ing entrails  of  a  fish  (Cay).  The  sad  expression  on  his  face, 
that  of  humble  resignation  on  that  of  the  pontiff,  of  deferen- 
tial astonishment  on  that  of  the  assistant,  speak  of  the  inevita- 
ble misfortunes  that  are  to  come  in  the  near  future.  (Plate 

Could  the  history  portrayed  by  these  fresco  paintings  be 


given  here  in  all  its  details,  it  would  prove  most  interesting;  but 
the  limits  assigned  to  this  vs^ork  do  not  allow  it.  Skipping, 
therefore,  over  several  very  curious  tableaux,  we  shall  consider 
the  one  in  which  Prince  Coli  is  pictured  at  the  head  of  his 
warriors  (Plate  XLYIII.)  in  the  heat  of  battle,  accompanied 
and  overshadowed  by  the  winged  serpent  as  by  an  aegis.  The 
genius  of  Mayach  guards  him,  fights  at  his  side,  leads  his 
followers  to  victory. 

This  serpent  is  not  the  rattlesnake,  covered  with  feathers 
(Kukvilcan),  image  of  the  rulers  of  the  country.  It  is 
the  winged  serpent,  whose  dart  is  the  South  American  conti- 
nent. It  is  the  Nohocli  Can,  the  great  serpent,  protective 
genius  of  Mayacli,  as  the  ur«us,  that  "  winged  serpent " 
with  inflated  breast,  represented  standing  erect  on  a  sieve,  was 
of  Lower  Egypt.* 

The  sieve  was  in  Egypt  emblematic  of  power  and  dominion ; 
singular  antithesis,  indeed,  which  none  of  the  learned  Egyp- 
tologists have  explained.  Still  the  Egyptian  priests  never 
selected  an  object  as  symbol  without  good  and  sufficient  rea- 
sons. These  were  made  known  to  initiates  only,  in  the  seclu- 
sion of  the  temples.^  What  could  have  induced  them  to  choose, 
as  emblem  of  domination  and  authority,  an  utensil  used  solely 
by  slaves  and  menials,  and  place,  standing  erect  upon  it,  the 
emblem  of  the  genius  of  Lower  Egypt,  has  never  been  accounted 
for  in  modern  times. 

In  the  Maya  language  we  again  find  the  explanation  of 
such  seeming  mystery.     In  it  the  word  for  sieve  is  3Iayab. 

"  Those  who  considev  themselves  authorities  on  Maya  antiquities  always 
confound  these  two  serpents,  and  call  them  Kukulcau,  although  they  are 
very  distinct  symbols. 

^  Clement  of  Alexandria,  in  Stromata  12,  says  :  "  It  is  requisite  to  hide 
in  a  mystery  the  wisdom  spoken."     He  had  been  initiated  in  the  mysteries. 

Fage  136. 

Plate  XL  VIII. 

Page  137. 

Plate  XLIX. 

QUEEN  M6o  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  137 

But  Mayab,  we  are  told,  was  in  remote  times  one  of  the 
names  of  the  Yucatan  peninsula,  given  to  it  on  account  of  the 
porosity  of  its  soil,  which  ahows  the  water  to  filter  through  it 
as  through  a  sieve,  and  gather,  cool  and  pure,  in  pools  and  lakes, 
in  the  inmiense  subterranean  caves  with  which  the  country  is 

Did,  then,  the  wise  men  of  Egypt  select  as  symbol  of  their 
country  the  serpent  with  wings  and  an  inflated  breast,  in 
remembrance  of  the  birthplace  of  their  ancestors;  did  they 
place  it  erect  on  a  sieve  to  signify  that  the  first  settlers  coming 
from  Mayab  (the  sieve)  conquered  and  dominated  the  former 
dwellers  in  the  valley  of  the  Nile  ? 

Pursuing  our  study  of  the  fresco  paintings,  we  pass  over 
interesting  battle  scenes,  including  one  (Plate  XLIX.)  repre- 
senting a  village '  invaded  by  the  hosts  of  Prince  Coh.  The 
women  and  children  flee  for  safety,  carrying  their  most  precious 
belongings.    Their  defenders  have  been  defeated  by  the  Mayas. 

Coll  will  return  to  his  queen  loaded  with  spoils  that  he  will 
lay  at  her  feet  with  his  glory,  which  is  also  hers,  and  his  love, 
Avhich  she  claims  in  return  for  hers.  She  loves  him  because  he 
is  brave  and  generous.  The  people  idolize  him  because  he  gives 
fame,  riches,  and  happiness  to  the  nation.  His  warriors  cher- 
ish him  because,  always  foremost  in  battle,  he  leads  them  to 
triumph  and  conquest. 

We  next  see  him  in  a  terrible  altercation  with  his  brother 
Aac.  The  figures  in  that  scene  are  nearly  life  size,  but  so 
much  disfigured  and  broken  as  to  make  it  impossible  to  obtain 

'  This  is  evidently  a  Mexican  village  in  the  now  state  of  Vera  Cruz. 
The  traveller  who  to-day  goes  by  rail  from  the  port  of  Vera  Cruz  to  the  City 
of  Mexico  sees,  on  his  way,  villages,  the  women  of  which  come  to  offer  for 
sale  chirimoyas  and  other  tropical  fruits.  In  their  features  and  dress  they 
resemble  those  pictured  here  by  the  Maya  artist. 


good  tracings.  Coh  is  portrayed  without  weapons,  his  fists 
clinched,  looking  menacingly  at  his  foe,  who  holds  three  spears, 
typical  of  the  three  wounds  he  inflicted  in  his  brother's  back 
when  he  killed  him  treacherously. 

Coll  is  now  laid  out,  being  prepared  for  cremation.  (Plate 
L.)  His  body  has  been  opened  under  the  ribs  to  extract  the 
viscera  and  the  heart,  which,  after  being  charred,  are  to  be  pre- 
served in  a  stone  urn  with  cinnabar,  where  the  writer  found  them 
in  1875.  His  sister-wife.  Queen  Moo,  in  sad  contemplation  of 
the  remains  of  her  beloved,  ozil  in  Maya,  and  his  second  sister, 
Nik6  (the  flower),  kneeling  at  his  feet,  recall  vividly  the  pic- 
ture of  Isis  (Mail)  and  her  sister  Nik6  lamenting  over  the 
body  of  their  much  loved  brother  Ozir-is.  Coh's  children  and 
mother  stand  by  him  in  affliction.  One  of  the  children,  prob- 
ably the  eldest,  carries  the  band  which  is  to  be  wrapped  round 
the  chest  and  waist  to  hide  the  gash  made  for  the  extraction  of 
those  parts  regarded  as  vital  organs,  and  which  are  to  be  pre- 
served and  placed  in  the  tomb  with  the  statue  of  the  deceased. 
Another,  who  seems  to  be  a  girl,  holds  in  her  hands  and  con- 
templates with  sadness  the  brains  of  the  dead  hero.  These 
are  to  be  kept  in  a  separate  urn.  The  youngest  child  is  pic- 
tured with  the  heart  of  his  father  in  his  right  hand.  He  is 
crying.  The  grandmother  conies  last.  All  the  figures  in  this 
tableau  are  represented  naked  or  nearly  so;  for  in  Mayacli,  as 
in  India  and  Egypt,  the  presence  of  a  dead  body  polluted  those 
present,  who  had  to  submit  to  purification  b)^  appropriate 
ceremonies.'      The  winged  serpent,  protective  genius  of  the 

'  "  The  presence  of  a  corpse  defiles  those  who  come  near  it." — Manai-a- 
DliwrmorSastra,  lib.  v.,  Sloka  62. 

"He  who  has  touched  a  corpse  purifies  himself  by  bathiug." — Ihid.,  lib. 
?.,  Sloka  85. 

"The  death  of  a  parent  or  relative  causes  one  to  become  defiled." 

Page  ISS. 

Plate  L. 

Page  1S9. 

Plate  LI. 


deceased,  is  pictured  without  a  head.    The  ruler  of  the  country 
has  been  slain.     He  is  dead.     The  people  are  without  a  chief. 

With  the  customary  rites  Prince  Coil's  remains  have  been 
made  to  return  to  their  primitive  elements  by  means  of  the 
aH-purifying  flame;  the  vital  parts,  in  which  intelligence  and 
sensation  were  believed  to  have  their  seat,  have  been  preserved 
incorruptible  in  separate  urns,  so  that  when  the  spirit  of  the 
departed  warrior  returns  to  earth  to  reanimate  the  stone  image 
made  in  his  likeness  he  will  find>  them  ready,  placed  by  it  in 
his  mausoleum.  With  due  respect  they  have  been  entrusted  to 
the  care  of  mother  earth. 

Queen  M<So  is  now  a  widow.  "What  is  to  prevent  her 
marrying  my  master,  the  powerful  Prince  Aac  ?  "  So  speaks 
the  messenger  who  has  brought  to  her  house  a  basket  of  oranges ; 
golden  apples  whose  acceptance  would  mean  that  of  Prince  Aac 
also,  and  constitute  betrothal — a  custom  still  existing  among 
the  natives  of  Yucatan.'  (Plate  LI.)  No  sooner  has  she 
dismissed  this  first  messenger,  who  has  left  the  basket  of  fruit 
on  the  ground  outside  of  the  house — a  sign  that  she  has  refused 
it — than  a  second  presents  himself,  and,  with  supplicating 
gestures,  entreats  the  lady  to  accept  the  proffered  love  of  his 
master,  who  is  at  the  foot  of  the  elevation  on  which  stands  her 
residence.  Aac  is  dressed  in  the  color  peculiar  to  the  royal 
family — yellow.  He  bows  and  lowers  his  weapons,  in  token  of 
his  submission,  and  that  he  places  them  at  her  command.  The 
deformed  figure  of  the  messenger  indicates  the  abjectness  of 
his  entreaties.  It  also  shows  that  the  wise  men  of  Mayacli 
had  studied  the  science  of  physiognomy,  and  had  reached  the 
conclusion  that  the  moral  qualities  leave  their  imprint  on  the 
physical  body. 

'  See  Appendix,  note  xix. 


Queen  M6o,  with  outstretched  hand,  seems  to  protect  the 
brazier  and  armadillo  on  whose  shell  the  Fates  wrote  her  des- 
tiny when  consulted  by  the  H-men  in  the  ceremony  of  Pou. 
She  refuses  to  listen  to  the  proposal  of  Prince  Aac,  whose 
totem,  a  serpent,  name  of  his  dynasty,  is  pictured  at  the  top 
of  a  tree,  trying  to  charm  a  macaw,  her  own  totem,  perched 
higher  up  on  another  tree,  symbol  of  her  more  exalted  polit- 
ical position.  Here,  then,  we  Tiame  looman,  garden,  fruit,  mid  a 
tempter  wJiose  title  is  Com,  ^^serjpent,''''  an  episode  in  ancient 
American  history. 

It  is  this  refusal  to  accept  the  fruit,  not  the  acceptance  of 
it  as  asserted  by  the  highpriest  Hilkiah  in  his  book  Genesis, 
that  eventually  brought  dire  calamities  upon  Queen  Moo,  caused 
the  misfortunes  of  her  people  and  the  decline  of  the  Maya  civil- 
ization, occasioned  by  the  dismemberment  of  the  empire  in 
consequence  of  intestine  feuds  and  civil  war  that  put  an  end  to 
the  Can  dynasty,  as  we  learn  from  the  author  of  the  Troano 
MS.'  and  the  much  distorted  tradition  that  has  reached  us.^ 

Clinging  to  the  tree  on  the  top  of  which  the  macaw  is 
perched,  we  see  a  monkey.  His  right  arm  is  raised  as  if  about 
to  strike,  or  at  least  menacing,  the  second  messenger,  who 
addresses  the  queen.  "What  has  the  artist  wished  to  indicate  by 
introducing  this  monkey  in  this  scene,  by  its  attitude  and  its 
gestures?  If,  in  consequence  of  events,  Queen  Moo  became 
Queen  Man  in  Egypt,  or  the  goddess  Isis,  then  the  solution  of 
the  riddle  is  easy.  Tliotli,  the  god  of  letters,  the  scribe  of 
Osiris  in  Amenti,  represented  as  a  cynocephalus  ape,  was  said 
to  have  been  the  preceptor  of  Isis  and  Osiris,  therefore  the 
protector  of  their  youth.     The  presence  here  of  this  monkey, 

'  Troano  j\IS. ,  part  ii.,  plate  xvii. 

'  Landa,  Las  Corns  dc  Yucatan.  J  v.,  p.  34. 

QUEEN  m60  and   TEE  EGYPTIAN  SPEINX.  141 

as  protector  of  the  widowed  Queen  Moo,  would  be  naturally 

It  is  impossible  to  even  conjecture  the  meaning  of  the  group 
formed  by  a  rattlesnake  entwined  to  a  tree,  angrily  facing  an 
unknown  animal  resembling  a  kangaroo.  This  animal  exists 
no  longer  in  Yucatan.  It  is,  therefore,  difficult  to  surmise 
what  or  whom  it  is  meant  for,  consequently  to  assign  to  him  a 
role  in  this  history.  That  he  and  the  serpent  Avere  inimical  is 
certain,  since  he  seems  to  have  been  bitten  by  the  latter,  judg- 
ing from  the  drops  of  blood  which  cover  his  visage. 

If  the  events  that  followed  the  rejection  of  Prince  Aac's 
love  were  also  portrayed  on  the  walls  of  the  funeral  chamber, 
as  they  probably  were,  that  pictorial  record  is  destroyed. 
For  the  knowledge  of  these  we  are  indebted  to  the  above-men- 
tioned Maya  author,  whose  book,  having  happily  escaped  the 
iconoclastic  hands  of  the  fanatical  friars  that  came  to  Mayach 
at  the  beginning  of  the  Spanish  Conquest,  illumines  the  dark- 
ness which  until  now  has  hung  over  the  ancient  history  of 
America  and  that  of  the  builders  of  Chichen  and  Uxiiial. 

Aac's  pride  being  humiliated,  his  love  turned  to  hatred. 
His  only  wish  henceforth  was  to  usurp  the  supreme  power,  to 
wage  war  against  the  friend  of  his  childhood.  He  made  reli- 
gious disagreement  the  pretext.  He  proclaimed  that  the  wor- 
ship of  the  sun  was  to  be  superior  to  that  of  the  "winged 
serpent,"  genius  of  the  country;  also  to  that  of  the  worship  of 
ancestors,  typified  by  the  feathered  serpent,  with  horns  and  a 
flame  or  halo  on  the  head.*  To  avenge  himself  on  the  woman 
he  had  so  much  loved  became  the  sole  aim  of  his  life.  To 
gratify  his  desire  for  vengeance  he  resolved  to  plunge  the 
country  into  ci^al  war ;  to  sacrifice  his  friends,  his  own  wel- 
■  Ubi  iupra,  plate  vii. 


fare,  that  of  the  people,  if  necessary.  Prompted  by  such  evil 
passions,  he  put  himself  at  the  head  of  his  own  vassals  and 
attacked  those  who  had  remained  faithful  to  Queen  M<io  and 
to  Prince  Coh's  memory. 

Here,  then,  we  have  the  origin  of  the  enmity  between  the 
woman  and  the  serpent,  to  which  we  find  allusion  in  Genesis ; 
and  of  that  of  the  sun  and  the  serpent,  prevalent  in  all  coun- 
tries where  vestiges  of  Maya  civilization  are  found. 

At  first,  Queen  Moo'^  adherents  successfully  opposed  her 
foes.  The  contending  parties,  forgetting  in  the  strife  that 
they  were  children  of  the  same  soil,  blinded  by  their  preju- 
dices, let  their  passions  have  the  best  of  their  reason.  Fortune 
favored  now  one  side,  now  the  other.  At  last  Queen  Moo  fell 
a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  her  enemy. •    (Plate  LII.) 

Let  us  hear  what  the  author  of  the  Troano  says:  "The 
people  of  Mayach,  having  been  whipped  into  submission  and 
cowed,  no  longing  opposing  much  resistance,  the  lord  seized 
her  by  the  hair  and,  in  common  with  others,  caused  her  to 
suffer  from  blows.  This  happened  on  the  ninth  day  of  the 
tenth  month  of  the  year  Kan  ;  "  that  is,  on  the  seventh  El>, 
of  the  month  Yax,  of  the  year  Kan. 

"  Being  completely  routed,  she  passed  to  the  opposite  sea- 
coast,  toward  the  east.  Seeking  refuge,  the  queen  went  to  the 
seacoast  in  the  southern  parts  of  the  country,  which  had 
already  suffered  much  injury.  This  event  took  place  on  the 
first  day  of  the  sixth  month  of  the  year  Mulnc  ;  ""  that  is 
to  say,  on  the  tenth  of  the  month  Xul,  in  the  year  Mulnc, 
or  eight  months  and  twelve  days  after  she  had  been  made  a 

"  The  northern  part  of  the  countxy  being  subjected,  he  con- 
'  Troauo  MS.,  part  ii.,  jjlates  xvi.  aud  xvii. 

Page  US. 

Plate  LII. 

QUEEN  m60  and  THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  143 

quered  the  others  one  by  one,  and  also  those  which  had  aided 
the  queen,  reunited  the  severed  parts,  and  again  made  the 
country  whole  under  his  sway.  This  happened  on  the  eighth 
day  of  the  fourth  month  of  the  year  Ix;"  that  is,  on  the 
third  Iiuix,  of  the  month  Zoo,  of  the  year  Ix,  or  ten  months 
and  eight  days  after  Queen  Moo's  departure  for  Ziuaan. 

An  explanation  of  the  illustrations  accompanying  the  text 
of  the  Maya  author  may  serve  to  show  that  we  have  correctly 
apprehended  his  narrative. 

Beginning  with  the  picture  on  the  right  of  the  chapter,  we 
see  the  queen  on  her  knees,  her  hands  joined  as  in  supplication. 
Her  foe  holds  her  by  the  hair  and  kicks  her.  This  explains 
sufficiently  the  text  "he  caused  her  to  suffer  from  blows." 

Next  she  is  portrayed  as  a  bird,  a  macaw.  Moo,  with  black 
plumage,  typical  of  her  misfortunes.  Her  leg  is  hanging ;  the 
claw  half  open,  as  having  just  lost  hold  of  the  hindquarter  of 
the  deer — another  symbol  of  the  country.  This  is  emblematic  of 
her  losing  the  last  grasp  on  that  part  (the  south)  of  the  empire. 
The  deer  is  severed  in  two,  to  show  the  political  condition  of 
the  country  divided  into  two  factions.  She  is  in  full  flight 
toward  Zinaan,  a  figure  of  Avhich  the  bird  holds  in  its  beak. 
The  line  joining  it  to  the  deer  indicates  that  the  "West  Indies 
were  a  dependency  of  the  Maya  Empire.  The  last  picture  rep- 
resents Aac  carrying  away  triumphantly  the  country  of  which 
he  is  now  sole  master,  whose  several  parts,  reunited,  are  under 
his  sway.  We  shall  leave  for  another  occasion  the  recital  of 
the  events  that  took  place  in  Mayacli  after  Moo's  depart- 
ure from  the  country,  and  follow  her  in  her  journey  east- 
ward. Enough  to  say  that  Aac,  left  alone  in  the  government, 
became  so  tyrannical  that  the  people  uprose  against  him 
and  expelled  him  from  the  country.      That  event  ended   the 


Can  dynasty,  and  brought  about  the  dismemberment  of  the 

As  far  as  our  present  knowledge  of  American  records  con- 
cerning Queen  M6o  goes,  her  history  comes  to  an  end  with 
her  flight  to  Zinaan.  Not  feeling  safe  in  that  country,  she 
continued  to  travel  toward  the  rising  sun,  in  the  hope  of  reach- 
ing some  of  the  isles,  remnants  of  the  Land  of  Mu.  It  was 
known  that  that  country,  once  the  "pride  of  the  sea,"  had 
greatly  suffered  in  consequence  of  an  awful  cataclysm  caused 
by  earthquakes.  She  was  weU  aware  that  a  few  islands  had 
escaped  the  general  destruction,  and  remained  above  the  waters 
the  only  vestiges  of  that  place,  once  so  populous  and  so  rich 
that  in  their  writings  the  Maya  authors  styled  it  "the  Life," 
"  the  Glory  of  the  Ocean,"  and  of  which,  in  his  "  Timaeus,"  ' 
Plato  has  given  so  glowing  a  description.  In  one  night  it  had 
suddenly  disappeared,  engulfed  by  the  waves,  with  the  major- 
ity of  its  inhabitants,  some  time  previous  to  the  happening  of 
the  political  events  in  Maya  history  which  we  have  just  related. 

To  one  of  those  islands  Queen  Moo  resolved  to  go  to  seek 


'  Plato,  Dialogues,  "Timseus,"  ii.  30. 


The  occurrence  of  that  dreadful  cataclysm  caused  great 
commotion  among  the  inhabitants  of  the  countries  on  both 
sides  of  the  Atlantic.  They  recorded  it  in  the  annals  kept  in 
the  archives  of  their  temples,  and  in  other  places  Avhere  its 
remembrance  was  most  likely  to  be  preserved  for  the  knowl- 
edge of  coming  generations;  and  so  it  has  lasted  to  our 

The  existence  of  this  land,  and  its  destruction  by  earth- 
quakes and  fire,  then  by  submergence,  is  a  mooted  question 
among  modern  scientists.  There  are  many  who,  disdaining 
to  investigate  the  ancient  American  records,  and  affecting  to 
regard  as  fabulous  Plato's  narrative  and  that  of  the  Egyptian 
priests  Psenophis  and  Sonchis  to  Solon,  although  these  asserted 
that  ' '  all  that,  has  been  Avritten  down  of  old,  and  is  preserved 
in  our  temples,"  prefer  to  invent  hollow  theories  and  to  advance 
opinions  having  no  firmer  foundations  than  their  own  magistral 
i2}se  dixit,  and  thus  dispose  of  the  question  by  a  denial,  little 
dreaming  that,  besides  Plato's  narrative,  the  records  of  the 

catastrophe  are  to  be  found,  full  of  details,  in  the  writings  of 


four  different  Maya  authors,  in  the  Maya  language.  Each 
of  these  has  written  the  relation  in  his  own  particular  style, 
but  all  agree  as  to  the  date  of  the  occurrence  and  the  manner 
in  which  the  destruction  of  the  Atlantean  land  was  effected. 
It  may  be  that  three  of  them  had  read  each  other's  writings 
on  that  subject ;  but  as  to  the  fourth,  it  can  be  safely  presumed 
that  he  knew  nothing  of  the  works  of  those  writers,  all  com- 
munications between  his  country  and  theirs  having  ceased  to 
exist  long  before  his  time. 

One  of  these  narratives,  carved  on  stone  in  bas-relief,  is 
preserved  in  the  city  of  Chlctien.  The  slab  on  Avhich  it  is 
written  forms  the  lintel  of  the  door  of  the  inner  chamber  at 
the  southern  end  of  the  building  called  Akab-oib,  "  the  a\vful, 
the  tenebrous  record."  It  is  as  intact  to-day  as  when  it  came 
from  the  hand  of  the  sculptor.  (Plate  LIII.)  Not  only  did  the 
Maya  historians  record  the  submergence  of  Mu  in  such  a 
lasting  manner,  but  the  date  of  its  occurrence  became  a  new 
starting  point  for  their  chronological  computations.  From  it 
they  began  a  new  era  and  reckoned  the  epochs  of  their  his- 
tory, as  the  Christians  do  from  the  birth  of  Christ,  and  the 
Mohammedans  from  the  Hegira  or  flight  of  Mohammed  from 

They  also  arranged  all  their  other  computations  on  the  base 
of  13,  in  memory  of  the  thirteenth  Chiieii,  the  day  of  the 
month  in  which  the  cataclysm  occurred.  So  they  made  weeks 
of  thirteen  days ;  weeks  of  years  of  four  tunes  thirteen,  or  fifty- 
two  JQ&YB ;  and  their  great  cycle  of  thirteen  times  twenty,  or 
two  hundred  and  sixty  years,  as  we  are  informed  by  Father 
Pedro  Beltran.i 

The  second  narrative  of  the  catacl3'sm  is  to  be  found  in  the 
'  Pedro  Beltran,  xirte  del  Idioma  Maya,  uumeraciou  p.  304. 

Page  146. 

Plate  MIL 

Page  W- 

Plate  LIV. 


Troano  MS.,  whose  author  has  devoted  several  pages'  of  his 
interesting  work  to  a  minute  description  of  the  various  phe- 
nomena attending  the  disaster.  (Plate  LI  V.)  Thus  he  recounts 
the  closing  scenes  of  the  tragedy:^  "The  year  six  Kan, 
on  the  eleventh  Muliic,  in  the  month  Zac,  there  occurred 
terrible  earthquakes,  which  continued  without  intermission 
until  the  thirteenth  Chuen.  The  country  of  the  hills  of  mud, 
the  'Land  of  Mu,'  was  sacrificed.  Being  twice  upheaved, 
it  suddenly  disappeared  during  the  night,  the  basin  being 
continually  shaken  by  volcanic  forces.  Being  confined,  these 
caused  the  land  to  sink  and  rise  several  times  and  in  various 
places.  At  last  the  surface  gave  way,  and  the  ten  countries 
were  torn  asunder  and  scattered  in  fragments;  unable  to 
withstand  the  force  of  the  seismic  convulsions,  they  sank  with 
their  sixty-four  millions  of  inhabitants,  eight  thousand  and 
sixty  years  before  the  writing  of  this  book." 

Does  not  this  recital  recall  the  story  of  the  destruction  of 
Atlantis  told  by  Plato,  and  the  division  of  the  country  by 
Poseidon  into  ten  portions,  assigning  one  to  each  of  his  ten 

Let  us  hope  that  no  one  will  be  so  bold  as  to  accuse  Plato 
of  having  been  in  collusion  with  the  author  of  the  Troano  MS. 

The  third  narrative  of  the  destruction  of  the  "Land  of 
Mu  "is  by  the  author  of  that  Maya  book  known  to  us  as 
Codex  Cortesianus.  His  style  is  more  prolix,  less  terse,  more 
symbolical  than  that  of  the  writer  of  the  Troano.  His  relation 
of  the  event  reads  as  follows  (Plates  LV.-LYL): 

'  Troano  MS.,  part  ii.,  plates  ii.  to  v. 

'  Ibid. ,  plate  v. 

Have  we  not  here  the  origin  of  that  singular  superstition  that  attributes 
ill  luck  to  the  number  thirteen  ?  And  is  not  this  superstition  a  reminiscence 
of  the  cataclysm,  that  has  come  down  to  us  through  the  lapse  of  centuries  ? 


"  By  his  strong  will,  Homen*  caused  the  earth  to  tremble 
after  sunset;  and  during  the  night,  Mu,  the  country  of  the 
hiUs  of  mud,  was  submerged. 

"  Mu,  the  life  of  the  basin,  was  submerged  by  Homen 
during  the  night. 

"  The  place  of  the  dead  ruler  is  now  lifeless;  it  moves  no 
more,  after  having  twice  jumped  from  its  foundations.  The 
king  of  the  deep,  while  forcing  his  way  out,  has  shaken  it  up 
and  down,  has  killed  it,  has  submerged  it. 

' '  Twice  Mu  jumped  from  its  foundations.  It  was  then 
sacrificed  with  fire.  It  burst  while  being  shaken  up  and  down 
violently  by  the  earthquake.  By  kicking  it,  the  wizard  that 
makes  all  things  move  like  a  mass  of  worms  sacrificed  it  that 
very  night." 

From  the  fact  that  the  Mayas  changed  their  mode  of  com- 
putation,^ and  began,  as  it  were,  a  new  era  from  the  time  of 
the  submergence  of  the  Land  of  Mu,  it  is  evident  that  in 
reading  their  ancient  history,  in  order  to  establish  correct  dates, 
it  becomes  necessary  to  know  if  the  events  related  took  place 
before  or  after  the  cataclysm. 

The  commotion  produced  by  that  disaster  seems  to  have 
been  no  less  great  among  the  populations  bordering  on  the 
Mediterranean  than  among  those  inhabiting  the  Western  Con- 
tinent. Plato  teUs  us  that  the  Egyptians  preserved  a  relation 
of  it  in  the  archives  of  their  temples,  asserting  it  was  the 

'  Homen  was  the  overturner  of  mountains,  the  god  of  earthquakes, 
the  wizard  who  made  all  things  move  like  n  mass  of  worms,  the  volcanic 
forces  antliropomorphized  and  then  deified.  The  Mayas  deified  all  phe- 
nomena of  nature  and  their  causes,  then  represented  them  in  the  shape  of 
human  beings  or  animals.  Their  object  was  to  keep  for  the  initiates  the 
secrets  of  their  science. 

^  Landa,  Las  Cosasde  Yucatan,  chap,  xxxix.,  p.  234. 

Page  IJfl. 

Plate,  LV. 


Page  U7. 

Plate  LVI. 


greatest  deluge  which  had  occurred  -withm  the  memory  of 
man.  Their  narrative  tallies  exactly  with  that  of  the  Maya 
authors.  From  that  time,  they  said,  all  their  communications 
with  the  inhabitants  of  the  Lands  of  the  West  had  been 
interrupted,  the  sea  having  become  an  impassable  barrier  of 

As  for  the  Greeks,  they  had  good  reasons  for  grieving  at 
the  loss  of  Mu,  since,  according  to  Egyptian  records,  thou- 
sands of  their  best  warriors  lost  their  lives  by  it.  They  cele- 
brated the  festival  of  the  Small  Panatheneas,  in  commemora- 
tion of  the  victory  gained  by  their  ancestors,  with  the  aid  of 
Minerva,  over  the  Atlanteans,  when  the  latter  tried  to  invade 
Greece  after  having  conquered  the  other  Mediterranean 
nations — those  Uving  on  the  coast  of  Libya  as  far  as  Egypt,  and 
those  dwelling  on  the  European  shores  as  far  as  Tyrrhania. 
After  repelling  the  invaders  the  Greek  warriors  pursued  them 
to  their  own  homes;  so  they  also  fell  victims  to  the  wrath  of 
Homen.  In  order  to  preserve  the  memory  of  the  catastro- 
phe for  the  knowledge  of  future  generations,  they  wrote  an 
epic  in  the  Maya  language,  which  seems  to  have  been  at  that 
time  still  prevalent  among  them.  In  it  were  described  the 
geological  and  meteorological  phenomena  that  took  place  and 
caused  the  wholesale  destruction  of  the  Land  of  Mu  and  its 
inhabitants.  "When  in  the  year  403  b.c,  during  the  archonship 
of  Euclid,  the  grammarians  rearranged  the  Athenian  alphabet 
in  its  present  form,  they  adopted  for  the  names  of  their  letters 
words  formed  by  the  agglutination  of  the  various  vocables 
composing  each  line  of  said  Maya  epic.  In  this  most  interest- 
ing philological  and  historical  fact  will  be  found  the  reason 
why  certain  letters  having  the  same  value  were  placed  apart, 
instead  of  juxtaposed  as  they  naturally  should  be.     What  else 


could  have  induced  Euclid  and  his  collaborators,  men  of  intel- 
ligence and  learning,  to  separate  the  Epsilon  from  the  Eta, 
the  Theta  from  the  Tau  ?  to  place  the  Omikron  in  the  middle 
and  the  Omega  at  the  end  of  the  alphabet  ? 

In  August,  1882,  the  writer  published  in  the  "Kevista  de 
Merida,"  a  daily  paper  of  Merida,  the  capital  of  Yucatan,  a 
Spanish  translation  of  the  Maya  epic  formed  by  the  names  of 
the  letters  of  the  Greek  alphabet.  He  invited  Maya  schol- 
ars to  review  and  correct  it,  in  case  any  word  had  been  mis- 
apprehended, as  he  was  desirous  to  present  his  discovery  to  the 
scientific  world.  No  correction  was  offered,  although  at  the 
time  it  attracted  the  attention  of  students  in  a  country  where 
Spanish  and  Maya  are  the  vernacular  of  the  people — the 
Spanish  that  of  the  white  inhabitants,  the  Maya  that  of  the 
natives;  all,  however,  speaking  more  or  less  Maya,  a  knowl- 
edge of  it  being  necessary  to  hold  intercourse  with  the  latter, 
who  absolutely  refuse  to  even  learn  the  Spanish,  which  they 
hate.  That  language  perpetually  revives  the  memory  of  the 
lost  autonomy  of  their  people  ;  of  the  long  and  cruel  perse- 
cutions their  race  has  suffered  since  1540  at  the  hands  of 
the  Spanish  invaders,  the  destroyers  of  their  civilization,  and 
at  those  of  their  descendants  whose  serfs  they  have  become 
and  remain,  although  called  free  in  accordance  with  the 

The  following  translation  may' be  regarded  as  absolutely 
correct,  being  an  English  rendering  of  that  published  in  Span- 
ish in  Merida. 

'  See  Appendix,  note  iv. 




Mata  Vocables  with  tiieie  English  Meaning. 





Heavy  ; 

break ; 









Receive ; 





Depth;  bottom; 








make  edges ; 

whirlpool;  to 





place ; 


With ; 





Extend ; 





All  that   which 
lives  and  moves ; 





Sediment ; 


break;  open. 





Submerge ; 

go;  walk; 

wliere ;  place. 






Point;  summit. 



Rise  over;  appear 






Whirlpool ;   whirl ; 


place ; 




To  place  by  little 
and  little. 
















Maya  Vocables  with  theib  Eholish  J/tetsisa. 




Where ; 


Abyss : 


Come;  form; 


Mouth;  aperture. 


Come  out; 





basin ;  valley. 





whirl ; 





cold;  frozen; 

place ; 





Freely  Translated. 

Alpha.  Heavily  break — the — waters 

Beta.  extending — over  the — plains. 

Gamma.  They — cover — the — land 

Delta.  in  low  places  where 

Epsilon.  there  are — obstructions,  shores  form  and  whirlpools 

Zeta.  strike — tJie — earth 

Eta.  with  water. 

Theta.  The — water  spreads 

Iota.  on  all  that  lives  and  moves. 

Kappa.  Sediments  give  way. 

Lambda.  Submerged  is — t?te — laud 

Mr.  of  Mu. 

Ni.  The  peaks — only 

Xi.  appear  above — the  water. 

Omikron.  Whirlwinds  blow  around 

Pi.  by  little  and  little, 

Riio.  until  comes 



Sigma.  cold  air.     Before 

Tatj.  where — eaistoi— valleys, 

Upsilon.  Tuno,  abysses,  frozen  tanks.     In  circular  places 

Phi.  clay — formed. 

Chi.  a — mouth 

Psi.  opens;  vapors 

Omega.  come  forth — and  volcanic  sediments. 


"When  Queen  Moo  reached  the  place  where  she  hoped 
to  find  a  refuge,  she  discovered  that  the  Land  of  Mu  had 
vanished.  Not  a  vestige  of  it  was  to  be  seen,  except  the 
shoals  and  muddy  waters  mentioned  by  Herodotus,  Plato, 
Scylax,  Aristotle,  and  other  ancient  writers,  who  tell  us  that 
this  made  the  ocean  impassable  to  ships  and  prevented  naviga- 
tion for  many  centuries  after  the  cataclysm. 

It  seems  that  Queen  Moo,  notwithstanding  these  obsta- 
cles, was  able  to  continue  her  voyage  eastward,  and  suc- 
ceeded in  reaching  Egypt.  We  find  mention  made  of  her 
on  the  monuments  and  in  the  papyri,  always  as  Queen  Mau 
(Mo6).  She  is,  however,  better  Imown  as  the  goddess  Ids ; 
wearing  vestments  dyed  with  a  variety  of  colors,  imitating 
feather  work,'  like  the  plumage  of  the  macaw,  after  which  she 
was  named  in  Mayach.  Isis  was,  no  doubt,  a  term  of  endear- 
ment applied  to  their  beloved  queen  hj  her  followers  and  her 
new  subjects.  It  seems  to  be  a  corruption  or  may  be  a  dialect- 
ical pronunciation  of  the  Maya  word  ioin  (pronounced  iclsin), 
the  "little  sister." 

'  Sir  Gardner  "Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  p.  395. 

Page  155. 

Plate  LYII. 

Page  155. 

Plate  LVIII. 


"We  have  seen  how,  before  leaving  Mayach,  Queen  Mdo 
caused  the  erection  of  a  memorial  hall  that  she  dedicated  to 
the  memory  of  Prince  Coh,  her  brother  and  husband;  and  that 
in  it  she  had  the  principal  events  of  his  and  her  life  painted  in 
bright  colors  on  the  walls  of  the  funeral  chamber.  Not  satisfied 
with  this  mark  of  her  love,  she  had  raised  over  his  remains  a 
mausoleum  that  would  be  an  ornament  to  any  of  our  modern 
cemeteries  or  public  squares.     (Plate  LVII.) 

The  four  sides  of  the  monument  were  ornamented  with 
panels,  on  Avhich  Avere  sculptures  in  mezzo-relievo.  (Plate 
LVIII.)  That  on  the  frieze  represents  a  dying  warrior  on 
his  back,  his  knees  drawn  up,  the  soles  of  his  feet  firmly 
planted  on  the  ground.  His  head,  covered  with  a  helmet, 
is  thrown  backward.  Prom  his  parted  lijss  the  breath  of 
life  escapes  in  the  shape  of  a  slender  flame.'  His  posture  is, 
in  fact,  the  same  as  that  given  by  the  Mayas,  in  those 
remote  ages,  to  all  the  statues  of  their  great  personages;  a 
position  that  represented  the  contour  of  the  Maya  Empire 
as  nearly  as  the  human  body  could  be  made  to  assume  it. 
The  upper  part  of  the  body  in  this  case,  instead  of  being 
erect,  is  pictured  lying  down,  the  head  thrown  back,  emblem- 
atic of  the  chief  of  the  nation  being  dead.  In  his  right  hand, 
placed  upon  his  breast,  he  holds  a  broken  sceptre,  composed  of 
three  javelins,  typical  of  the  three  wounds  that  caused  his 
death,  and  of  the  weapons  with  which  they  were  inflicted. 
One  of  the  wounds  was  under  the  left  shoulder-blade.  The 
blow  was  aimed  at  the  heart  from  behind,  proving  that  the 
victim  was  treacherously  murdered.  The  two  others  were  in 
the  lumbar  region.  These  are  indicated  in  the  sculptures  hj 
two  small  holes  just  above  the  waist-band  of  the  kilt  worn  by 
'  See  Appendix,  note  xs. 


the  warrior,  and  the  image  of  a  small  arrowhead  >,  its  point 
directed  toward  the  left  shoulder.  His  left  arm  is  placed  across 
his  breast,  the  left  hand  resting  on  the  right  shoulder.  This  is 
a  token  of  respect  among  the  living,  as  we  have  already  seen; 
but  what  can  be  its  meaning  when  made  to  be  assumed  by  the 
dead  ?  Does  it  signify  that  this  is  the  attitude  of  humility  in 
which  the  souls  of  the  departed  must  appear  before  the  judg- 
ment seat  of  Yum-cimil,  the  "  god  of  death;  "  just  as  we  see, 
in  the  Egyptian  inscriptions  and  papyri,  the  souls  when  stand- 
ing before  the  throne  of  Osiris  in  Amenti,  waiting  to  receive 
their  sentence  from  his  mouth  ?  This  is  very  probable,  for  the 
same  custom  existed  in  Egypt.  "The  Egyptians,"  says  Sir 
Gardner  WiUdnson,'  "  placed  the  arms  of  the  mummies 
extended  along  the  side,  the  palms  inward  and  resting  on  the 
thighs,  or  brought  forward  over  the  groin,  sometimes  even 
across  the  hreast;  and  occasionally  one  arm  in  the  former,  the 
other  in  the  latter  position. ' '  Mr.  Champollion  Figeac,  speaking 
on  the  same  subject,  says:  ^  "  On  croisait  les  mains  des  femmes 
sur  leur  ventre;  les  bras  des  hommes  restaient  pendants  sur 
les  cotes ;  quelquef ois  la  main  gauclie  etait  xylacee  sur  VejMide 
d/roite;  ce  hras  faisait  ainsi  echarpe  sur  la  pdtrine."  The 
upper  end  of  the  sceptre  is  ornamented  with  an  open  dipetal- 
ous  flower,  with  a  half-opened  bud  in  the  centre  of  the  corol. 
This  is  significant  of  the  fact  that  the  dead  warrior  was  killed 
in  the  flower  of  life,  before  he  had  had  tiine  to  reach  maturity. 
The  lower  extremity  of  said  sceptre  is  carved  so  as  to  represent 

'  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Manners  and  Customs,  vol.  iii.,  chap,  xvi., 
p.  486. 

'  Champollion  Figeac,  L'univers,  Egypte,  p.  361. 

"The  women's  hands  were  crossed  on  the  belly  ;  the  men's  arms  re- 
mained hanging  at  the  sides  ;  but  sometimes  the  left  hand  was  placed  on 
the  right  shoulder,  the  arm  across  the  chest. 

Page  157. 

Plate  LIX. 

Page  157. 

Plate  LX. 


a  leopard's  paw.  This  is  intended  for  the  name  of  the  dead 
hero,  Coll,  or  Chaacmol,  "leopard."  The  etymon  of  the 
last  word  is:  Chaac,  "thunder,"  " tempest, "  hence,  "irre- 
sistible power;  "  and  mol,  "the  paw  of  any  carnivorous  ani- 
mal." The  leopard  being  the  largest  and  fiercest  of  the  beasts 
of  prey  inhabiting  the  forests  of  Yucatan  and  Central  America, 
the  Mayas,  who,  as  we  have  said,  named  all  things  by  ono- 
matopceia,  called  their  most  famous  warrior  Chaacmol ;  that 
is,  "the  paw  swift  like  thunder,"  " the  paw  Avith  irresistible 
power  like  the  tempest  " — just  as  the  French  designate  a  noted 
general  on  the  battle-field  as  "  un  aigle  dans  le  combat,"  "  un 
foudre  de  guerre." ' 

On  the  panels  that  adorned  the  architrave  were  carved  two 
figures  (Plate  LIX.),  the  one  a  leopard,  the  other  a  macaw 
(Plate  LX.),  in  the  acting  of  licking  or  eating  hearts.  The  first 
is  the  totem  of  the  warrior  to  whose  memory  the  mausoleum 
was  erected ;  the  other  that  of  his  wife,  Queen  M<5o,  by  whose 
order  it  was  constructed,  and  who  dedicated  it  to  the  memory 
of  her  beloved  brother  and  husband.  Being  portrayed  in  the 
act  of  licking  the  hearts  of  their  enemies,  whom  they  had 
vanquished  on  the  battle-field,  certainly  indicates  that  the 
Mayas,  although  ordinarily  not  addicted  to  cannibalism,  like 
many  other  nations  of  antiquity  sometimes  ate  the  hearts  of 
their  conquered  foes,  in  the  belief  that  by  so  doing  they 
would  inherit  their  valor.  This  same  custom  prevails  even  in 
our  day  among  various  peoples. 

The  corona  of  the  cornice  is  adorned  with  a  row  of  human 
skulls.  Not  one  is  artificially  deformed.  Evidently  the  cus- 
tom of  deforming  the  head  was  not  practised  by  the  ancient 
Mayas  as  it  was  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  cities  of  Copan  and 
'  "An  eagle  in  the  battle,"  "  a  thunder  in  war." 


Palenque.  These,  therefore,  could  not  have  been  Mayas  as 
the  majority  of  Americanists  assert  without  adequate  proofs. 
In  fact,  the  sculptures  at  Chiclien  show  that  the  Mayas  and 
the  peoples  that  so  deformed  their  heads,  whoever  they  were, 
were  inimical  to  each  other. 

At  the  foot  of  the  balustrades,  on  each  side  of  the  stairs 
leading  to  the  top  of  the  mausoleum,  there  were  large  serpent 
heads,  with  open  mouth  and  protruding  tongue. 

These  serpent  heads,  we  know,  were  totems  of  the  Cans, 
used  in  aU  edifices  erected  by  them,  to  show  that  they  were 
built  by  their  order.  The  tongue  protruding  from  the  mouth 
was  the  symbol  of  wisdom  among  the  Mayas.  It  is  often 
found  thus  in  the  portraits  of  priests,  kings,  and  other  exalted 
personages  supposed  to  be  endowed  with  great  wisdom.'  It 
may,  perhaps,  have  been  also  a  token  of  respect,  as  it  is  even 
to-day  in  Thibet.^    (Plate  LXI.) 

The  mausoleum  was  crowned  by  a  most  interesting  statue. 
It  was  that  of  a  dying  leopard  with  a  human  head  (Plate  LXII.), 
a  veritable  sphinx ;  the  prototype,  may  be,  of  the  mysterious 
Egyptian  Sphinx,  the  most  ancient  monument  in  the  vaUe}^  of 
the  Nile.  This  Maya  sphinx,  like  the  leopard  in  the  sculp- 
tures, had  three  deep  holes  in  its  back — symbols  of  the  three 
spear  thrusts  that  caused  Prince  Coil's  death.  Thus  it  has 
come  to  the  knowledge  of  succeeding  generations  that  the 
brave  Maya  Avarrior,  whom  foes  could  not  vanquish  in  fair 
fight,  was  treacherously  slain  \>y  a  cowardly  assassin — this 
assassin  his  own  brother  Aac ;  just  as  Osiris  in  Egypt  is  said 
to  have  been  murdered  by  his  brother  Set,  and  for  the  same 
motive,  jealous^^ 

'  See  Appendix,  note  xxi. 

"  M.  Hue,  Recollections  of  a  Journey  through  Thibet  and  Tartary,  vol.  ii., 
cbap.  vi.,  p.  158. 

Page  158. 

Plate  LXI. 

Page  158. 

Plata  LXII. 

QUEEN  M60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX.  159 

Osiris,  in  Egyptian  history,  comes  to  us  as  a  myth.  Prince 
Coh,  the  well-beloved  Ozil,  is  a  tangible  reality;  the  author 
having  in  his  possession  his  charred  heart,  part  of  which  was 
analyzed,  on  September  25,  1880,  by  the  late  Professor  Charles 
O.  Thompson,  at  the  request  of  Mr.  Stephen  Salisbury,  now 
president'  of  the  "American  Antiquarian  Society,"  of  "Worces- 
ter, Mass.  Besides,  the  author  has  also  in  his  possession  the 
very  weapon  with  which  the  murder  was  committed.  (Plate 

From  aU  antiquity  the  Egyptian  Sphinx  has  been  a  riddle, 
that  has  remained  unsolved  to  our  day.  (Plate  LXIV.)  It  is 
still,  as  Bunsen  says,  the  enigma  of  history.^  "  The  name  most 
conspicuous  on  the  tablet  in  the  temple  between  the  paws  of  this 
wonderful  statue  is  that  of  Armais."  According  to  Osburn,  it 
Avas  the  work  of  King  Khafra;'  but  he  is  stUl  in  doubt  about 
it,  for  he  adds:  "  On  the  other  hand,  the  great  enigma  of  the 
bearded  giant  Sphinx  still  remains  unsolved.  When  and  by 
whom  was  the  colossal  statue  erected,  and  what  was  its  signifi- 
cation ?  .  .  .  "We  are  accustomed  to  regard  the  Sphinx  in 
Egypt  as  a  portrait  of  the  king,  and  generally,  indeed,  as  that 
of  a  particular  king  whose  features  it  is  said  to  represent."  In 
hieroglyphic  written  character,  the  sphinx  is  called  Heh,  "the 

But  Kichard  Lepsius^  remarks:  "King  Khafra  was  named 
in  the  inscription,  but  it  does  not  seem  reasonable  thence  to 
conclude  that  Khafra  first  caused  the  lion  to  be  executed,  as 

'  Aug.  Le  Ploageon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  certificate  of  analysis  by  Prof. 
Charles  O.  Thompson,  pp.  84-85. 

'  Bnnsen,  EgypVs  Place  in  VJiiversal  History,  vol.  ii.,  p.  388. 

^  Osburn,  Monumental  History  of  Egypt,  vol.  ii.,  p.  319. 

*  Ibid.,  vol.  i.,  p.  311. 

'  R.  Lepsius,  Letters  from  Egypt,  Ethiopia,  and  the  Peninsula  of  Sinai, 
Horner's  translation,  p.  66. 


another  inscription  teaches  us  King  Khaf  ra  had  already  seen 
the  monster,  or,  in  other  words,  says  that  before  him  the 
statue  already  existed,  the  work  of  another  Pharaoh.  The 
names  of  Thotmes  IV.,  of  Kameses  II.,  as  well  as  that  of 
Khafra,  are  inscribed  on  the  base." 

Plinius,  the  first  author  who  ever  mentioned  the  Sphinx, 
refers  to  it  as  the  tomb  of  Amasis.' 

Its  age  is  unknown.  De  Kouge,  in  his  "  Six  Premieres 
Dynasties,"  supposes  it  to  be  as  old  as  the  fourth  dynasty;  but 
it  is  probably  coetaneous  with,  if  not  anterior  to,  the  pyramids. 

As  to  its  significance,  Clement  of  Alexandria  ^  simply  teUs 
us  that  it  was  the  emblem  of  the  "union  of  force  with  pru- 
dence or  wisdom;  "  that  is,  of  physical  and  intellectual  power, 
supposed  attributes  of  Egyptian  kings. 

Without  pretending  to  emulate  (Edipus,  we  may  be  per- 
mitted to  call  attention  to  certain  striking  analogies  existing 
between  the  Egyptian  Sphinx  and  the  leopard  with  hmnan  head 
that  crowned  Prince  Coil's  mausoleum.  In  order  to  better 
understand  these  analogies,  it  will  be  necessary  to  consider  not 
only  the  meaning  of  the  names  of  the  Sphinx,  but  also  its  posi- 
tion relative  to  the  horizon  and  to  the  edifices  by  which  it  is 

It  is  placed  exactly  in  front,  and  to  the  east,  of  the  second 
pyramid,  overlooking  the  Nile  toward  the  rising  sun.  It  rep- 
resents a  crouching  lion,  or  may  be  a  leopard,  with  a  human 
head,  hewn  out  of  the  solid  rock.  Piazzi  Smyth  ^  teUs  us  that 
' '  about  the  head  and  face,  though  nowhere  else,  there  is  much  of 
the  original  statuary  surface  still,  occasionally,  painted  duU  red. " 

'  Plinius,  Hist.  Nat.,  xxxvi.  17. 
"  Clement  of  Alexandria,  Strom,  v, 

'  Piazzi  Smyth,  Life  and  Work  at  the  Great  Pyramid,  vol.  i.,  chap,  xii., 
p.  323. 

Page  159. 

Plate  LXIII. 

Page  169. 

Plate  LXir. 

i-fr^  j.-3*-"=  - . 


The  mausoleum  of  Prince  Coh,  in  Cliicllen,  stands  in 
front  and  to  the  east  of  the  Memorial  Hall.  The  statue  on  the 
top  was  that  of  a  leopard  with  human  head.  (Plate  LXII.) 
The  color  of  the  Mayas  was  red  brown,  judging  from  the  fresco 
paintings  in  the  funeral  chamber,  and  Landa  teUs  us  ^  that  even 
to  the  time  of  the  Spanish  Conquest  they  were  in  the  habit  of 
.covering  their  face  and  body  with  red  pigment. 

According  to  Henry  Brugsch:  ^  ''  To  the  north  of  this  huge 
form  lay  the  temple  of  the  goddess  Isis;  another,  dedicated  to 
the  god  Osiris,  had  its  place  on  the  southern  side;  a  third  tem- 
ple was  dedicated  to  the  Sphinx.  The  inscription  on  the  stone 
speaks  as  follows  of  these  temples:  He,  the  living  Hor,  king 
of  the  upper  and  lower  country,  Khufu,  he,  the  dispenser  of 
life,  founded  a  temple  to  the  goddess  Isis,  the  queen  of  the  pyr- 
amid; beside  the  god's  house  of  the  Sphinx,  northwest  from 
the  god's  house  and  the  town  of  Osiris,  the  lord  of  the  place 
of  the  dead. ' ' 

The  Sphinx  being  thus  placed  between  temples  dedicated  to 
Isis  and  to  Osiris,  by  their  son  Hor,  would  seem  to  indicate  that 
the  personage  represented  by  it  was  closely  allied  to  both  these 

Another  inscription  shows  that  it  was  especially  consecrated 
to  the  god  Ea-Atum,  or  the  "  Sun  in  the  West;  '•'  thus  con- 
necting said  personage  with  the  "  lands  toward  the  setting 
sun,"  with  "  the  place  of  the  dead,"  with  the  country  whence 
came  the  ancestors  of  the  Egyptians,  where  they  believed  they 
returned  after  the  death  of  the  physical  body,  to  appear  in  the 
presence  of  Osiris  seated  on  his  throne  in  the  midst  of  the 
waters,  to  be  judged  by  him  for  their  actions  while  on  earth. 

'Landa,  Las  Gosas  de  Yucatan,  ?  xx.,  p.  114,  and  xxxi.,  p.  184. 
'  Henry  Brugsch,  History  of  Egypt  under  the  Pharaohs,  vol.  i.,  p.  80, 
Seymour  and  Smith's  translation. 



Mr.  Samuel  Birch,  in  a  note  in  the  work  of  Sir  Gardner 
Wilkinson,  "Manners  and  Customs  of  the  Ancient  Egyp- 
tians,'" says  "that  the  Sphinx  was  called  Ha  or  Akar.'''' 
These  words  mean  respectively,  in  the  Maya  language, 
"wafer,"  and  "pond"  or  "swamp."  In  these  names  may 
we  not  see  a  hint  that  the  king  represented  by  the  huge  statue 
dwelt  in  countries  surrounded  by  water  ?  Its  position,  again, 
with  the  head  turned  toward  the  east,  its  back  to  the  west, 
may  not  be  without  significance.  Might  it  not  mean  that  the 
people  who  sculptured  it  travelled  from  the  West  toward  the 
East?  from  the  Western  Continent  where  Isis  was  queen, 
when  she  abandoned  the  land  of  her  birth  and  saUied  forth, 
with  her  followers,  in  search  of  a  new  home  ? 

May  not  that  lion  or  leopard  with 
a  human  head  be  the  totem  of  some 
famous  personage  in  the  mother  coun- 
try, closely  related  to  Queen  Moo, 
highly  venerated  by  her  and  her  peo- 
ple, whose  memory  she  wished  to  per- 
petuate in  the  land  of  her  adoption  and 
among  coming  generations  ? 

Was  it  the  totem  of  Prince  Coli  ? 
We  have  seen  in  Mayacli,  on  the 
entablature  of  the  Memorial  Hall,  and  in 
the  sculptures  that  adorned  his  mauso- 
leum at  Cliichen,  that  he  was  repre- 
sented as  a  leopard.  But  in  Egj'pt, 
Osiris,  as  king  of  the  Amenti,  king  of  the  West,  was  lUcewise 

priest  of  osiris,  covered  witu 
leopard's  skin. 

portrayed  as  a  leopard, 


His   priests  always  wore 

'  Samuel   Birch,  Sir   Gardner   Williiuson,  JIanners  and   Customs,  note, 
vol.  iii.,  chap.  xiv. 


a  leopard  skin  over  their  ceremonial  dress,  and  a  leopard 
skin  hung  always  near  his  images  or  statues.  In  seeking  to 
explain  the  meaning  of  the  names  inscribed  at  the  base  of  the 
Sphinx,  we  will  again  make  use  of  the  Maya  language,  which 
maj^  be  for  us,  in  this  instance  also,  the  thread  of  Ariadne  that 
will  guide  us  out  of  this  more  than  d^dalian  labyrinth. 

Henry  Brugsch  again  tells  us:  "  The  Sphinx  is  called  in  the 
text  Hu,  a  word  which  designates  the  man-headed  lion,  while 
the  real  name  of  the  god  represented  by  the  Sphinx  was  Sor- 
makhu,  that  is  to  say,  '  Horus  on  the  horizon. '  It  was  also  called 
Khepra,  '  Horus  in  his  resting  place  on  the  horizon  where  the 
sun  goes  to  rest. '  "  ^ 

Herodotus  says  ^  that  Horus  was  the  last  of  the  gods  who 
governed  the  Egyptians  before  the  reign  of  Menes,  the  first  of 
their  terrestrial  kings.  He  came  into  the  world  soon  after  the 
death  of  his  father,  being  the  youngest  son  of  Isis  and  Osiris; 
and  he  stood  forth  as  his  avenger,  combating  Set  and  defend- 
ing his  mother  against  him. 

According  to  the  Maya  language  Hormakhu  is  a  word 
composed  of  three  Maya  primitives — Hool-ma-kvi :  that 
is,  hool,  "head,"  "leader;"  ma,  "country,"  or  ma,  rad- 
ical of  Mayach,  that  becomes  sjoicopated  by  losing  the  desi- 
nence yachin  forming  the  compound  name;  and  ku,  "god." 
Hormakhu  would  then  mean  "  the  God  chief  in  Mayach." 
It  is  well  to  remember  that  the  Maya  inscriptions  and  other 
writings  were  read,  as  generally  were  the  Egyptian 
and  many  other  ancient  languages,  from  right  to  left. 
That  Ma  stands  for  Mayach  in  this  instance,  there 
seems  to  be  no  doubt,  since  the  sign    \,  which  is  the  shape 

'  Henry  Brugsch,  History  of  Egypt,  vol.  ii.,  p.  464. 
'  Herodotus,  History,  lib.  ii.,  144. 

164  QUEEN  M60  and   THE  EGYPTIAN  SPHINX. 

of  the  peninsula  of  Yucatan,  forms  part  of  the  hieroglyph  rep- 
resenting the  name  of  the  Sphinx.  Had  not  this  been  the 
intended  meaning,  the  hierogrammatists  would  no  doubt  have 
made  use  of  some  other  of  the  various  signs  with  which  they 
represented  the  Latin  letter  M.  "We  must  not  lose  sight  of  the 
fact  that  hiero-  ^  graphic  writings  were  mostly  pictorial. 
Besides,  the  sign  ^^^^>  tJie  "  sun  resting  on  the  western  hori- 
zon," makes  it  evident  that  the  hieroglyph  M  was 
intended  to  represent  a  country,  having  similar  geographical 
contour,  situated  in  the  regions  where  the  sun  sets ;  that  is,  the 
West.  The  Mayas  made  use  of  the  same  sign  to  designate 
regions  situated  toward  the  setting  sun.' 

KJiepra  would  read  in  Maya  Keb-la.  Keb  means  "to 
incline; "  La  is  the  eternal  "truth,"  the  god,  hence  the  sun. 
Ketola  or  Khejpra  is  therefore  the  sun  inclined  on  the  horizon. 

As  to  the  name  IIu,  used  in  the  texts  to  designate  the 
Sphinx,  it  may  be  a  contraction  of  the  Maya  liiil,  an 
"arrow,"  a  "spear." 

The  Greeks  placed  offensive  weapons  in  the  hands  of  some 
of  their  gods,  as  symbols  of  their  attributes.  So  also  the 
Egyptians.  They  represented  Neith,  Sati,  or  Khem  holding 
a  bow  and  arrows.  To  Horus  they  gave  a  spear,  hul,  with 
which  he  was  said  to  have  slain  Set,  his  father's  murderer. 
They  represented  him  sometimes  standing  in  a  boat,  piercing 
the  head  of  Set  swimming  in  the  water.'  Did  they  mean 
by  this  to  indicate  that  the  tragedy  took  place  in  a  countrv 
surrounded  by  water,  reached  only  by  means  of  boats  ?    They 

'  This  sign  forms  part  of  the  word  Alau  in  the  Troano  MS.,  in  part  ii., 
plates  ii.  and  iii. 

See  Introduction,  ubi  supra,  p.  lix. 

=  Plutarch,  Be  Yside  et  Osiride,  ^  25,  36. 


also  figured  Horus  on  the  land,  transfixing  with  a  spear  the 
head  of  a  serpent  (illustration,  p.  124). 

Was,  then,  the  serpent  in  Egypt  one  of  the  totems  of 
Set,  Osiris's  murderer,  as  it  was  in  Mayacli  of  Aac,  Prince 
Coil's  slayer  ? 

ISTo  doubt  it  was,  since  Osiris's  worshippers  were  wont,  at 
the  celebration  of  his  feast,  to  throw  a  rope  into  their  assem- 
bly, to  simulate  a  serpent,  emblem  of  his  murderer,  and  hack  it 
to  pieces,  as  if  avenging  the  death  of  their  god.  Was  this  a 
reminiscence  of  the  tragedy  that  occurred  in  the  mother  coimtry, 
where  one  member  of  the  Can  (serpent)  family  slew  his  brother  ? 

From  the  portraits  of  his  children,  carved  on  the  jambs  of 
the  door  of  Prince  Coh's  funeral  chamber  at  Chiclien,  we 
learn  that  his  youngest  son,  a  comely  lad  of  about  sixteen,  was 
named  Hul ;  his  totem,  a  spear-head,  is  sculptured  above  his 
head.     Are  not  Hul,  liu,  Hor,  Hoi,  cognate  words  ? 

Elsewhere  ^  I  have  endeavored  to  show,  from  the  identity 
of  their  history,  from  that  of  their  names,  and  from  their 
totems,  that  Seb  and  Nut,  and  their  children  Osiris,  Set, 
Aroens,  Isis,  and  Nihe,  worshipped  as  gods  by  the  Egyptians, 
were  the  same  personages  known  as  King  Canchi,  his  wife 
Zo3,  and  their  five  children  Cay,  Aac,  Coh,  M6o  and  Nik6, 
who  lived  and  reigned  in  Mayacli,  where,  having  received  the 
honor  of  apotheosis,  after  their  death,  they  had  temples  erected 
to  their  memory  and  divine  homage  paid  them. 

Queen  Moo,  not  finding  vestiges  of  the  land  of  Mu,  went 
to  Egypt,  where  we  meet  with  traditions  of  her  family  troubles. 
There  she  became  the  goddess  Isis,  was  worshipped  throughout 
the  land,  her  cult  being  superior  even  to  that  of  Osiris.^     She 

'  Aug.  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  87,  et  passim. 
'  Herodotus,  Hist.,  lib.  ii.,  43,  59,  61. 


knew  that,  centuries  before,  Maya  colonists,  coming  from 
India  and  from  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates,  had  established 
themselves  in  the  vaUey  of  the  Nile.  She  naturally  sought 
refuge  among  them.  They  received  her  vnth  open  arms, 
accepted  her  as  their  queen,  and  called  her  loin,  "the  little 
sister,"  an  endearing  vrord  that  in  time  became  changed  into 

Apuleius,  in  his  "  Metamorphosis,"  '  makes  her  say:  "  But 
the  sun-illumined  Ethiopians  and  the  Egyptians,  renowned  for 
ancient  lore,  worshipping  me  with  due  ceremonies,  caU.  me  by 
my  real  name  Isis."  Diodorus  causes  her  to  say:^  "'I  am 
Isis,  queen  of  the  country,  educated  by  Thoth,  Mercury.  What 
I  have  decreed,  no  one  can  annul.  I  am  the  eldest  daughter  of 
Saturn  (Seb),  the  youngest  of  the  gods.  I  am  the  sister  and 
wife  of  King  Osiris.  I  am  the  first  who  taught  men  the  use  of 
corn.     I  am  the  mother  of  Horus. '  " 

In  the  Book  of  the  Dead  Isis  says:  "I  am  the  queen  of 
these  regions ;  I  was  the  first  to  reveal  to  mortals  the  mj^steries 
of  wheat  and  corn.  I  am  she  who  is  risen  in  the  constellation 
of  the  dog."  ^ 

Was  it  she  who,  to  perpetuate  the  memory  of  her  husband 
among  the  coming  generations  in  the  land  of  her  adoption,  as 
she  had  done  in  the  country  of  her  birth,  caused  the  Sphinx  to 
be  made  in  the  likeness  of  that  with  which  she  had  embellished 
the  mausoleum  of  her  beloved  Coli  in  Chicllen  ?  There  she 
had  represented  him  as  a  djang  leopard  with  a  hmnan  head, 
his  back  pierced  with  three  spear  wounds.  In  Egypt  she  fig- 
ured him  also  as  a  leopard  with  a  human  head ;  but  erect  and 

'Apuleius,  Metamorplwsis,  lib.  ii.,  341. 

=  Diodorus,  Bihl.  Hist.,  lib.  i.,  37. 

"  BooTc  of  the  Dead,  chap,  ex.,  verses  4-5. 

Page  1G6. 

Plate  LXV. 


proud,  a  glorified  soul  watching  over  the  country  that  had 
insured  her  safety,  giving  her  a  new  home;  over  the  people 
she  loved,  and  who  obeyed  with  reverence  her  smallest  man- 
date, and  after  her  death  deified  and  worshipped  her,  calling 
her  the  "good  mother  of  the  gods  and  of  men,"  as  Maia 
was  called  by  the  Greeks,  as  Maya  was  by  the  Hindoos,  and 
Mayaoel  by  the  Mexicans.  Did  she  entrust  to  her  son  Hul 
the  supervision  of  the  execution  of  the  huge  statue,  that  for 
this  reason  was  named  Hu  in  the  texts  ? 

Shall  we  answer  with  certainty  in  the  negative  these  que- 
ries that  force  themselves  on  the  mind,  when  we  reflect  on  the 
influence  of  Maya  customs  and  Maya  civilization  on  the  pop- 
ulations of  Asia  and  Africa ;  on  the  similarity  of  the  names, 
and  the  striking  analogy  of  the  events  in  the  lives  of  Isis  and 
Osiris,  and  those  of  Queen  Moo  and  Prince  Coh ;  particularly 
when,  among  other  things,  we  consider  the  identity  of  the 
ancient  hieratic  Maya  and  Egyptian  alphabets;  that  of  the 
rites  of  initiation  into  the  mysteries  celebrated  in  the  temples 
of  Mayacli  and  Egypt,'  and  many  other  customs  and  tradi- 
tions that  it  is  impossible  to  regard  as  mere  coincidences,  these 
being  too  numerous  to  be  the  effect  of  hazard  ? 

Furthermore,  we  may  take  into  consideration  the  latest 
discovery  made  by  Col.  G.  E.  Kaum,  of  San  Francisco,  in 
excavating  the  temple  between  the  fore  paws  of  the  Sphinx,  of 
the  cap  that  once  covered  the  head  of  the  statue.  This  cap  is 
painted  red  and  adorned  with  three  lotus  stems  and  a  serpent. 
Might  not  these  indicate  that  the  personage  represented  by 
the  Sphinx  came  from  a  country  situated  in  the  midst  of  the 
waters,  and  belonged  to  the  family  of  the  Cans,  serpents  ?  ^ 

'  Aug.  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  15,  et  passim. 
"  New  Torh  Herald,  March  30,  1896. 

Page  1G9. 

Plate  LXVI. 


Note  I.     (Page  xxviii.) 

(1)  Diego  de  Landa,  the  second  bishop  of  Yucatan,  was  a 
native  of  Cifuentes  de  Alcarria,  in  Spain.  (Plate  LXVI.)  Born 
in  1524:,  in  the  noble  family  of  the  Calderones,  he  at  the  age 
of  seventeen,  that  is,  in  1541,  became  a  monk  of  the  Order  of 
St.  Francis,  in  the  Convent  of  San  Juan  de  los  Reyes,  at  Toledo. 
In  August,  1549,  being  then  twenty-five  years  old,  he  went  to 
Yucatan  as  a  missionary.  He  soon  learned  the  language  of 
the  aborigines — Maya — under  the  tuition  of  Father  Luis  de 
ViUalpando,  whose  grammar  of  that  tongue  he  revised  and 
corrected.  It  was  afterward  published  in  the  City  of  Mexico 
by  Father  Juan  Coronel. 

From  the  time  when  Landa  was  able  to  understand  the 
Maya  language  he  dedicated  his  whole  life  to  evangelical  work, 
teaching  Christianity  to  the  natives,  converting  them  to  his 
faith.  During  thirty  years,  to  the  hour  of  his  death,  which 
occurred  on  the  29th  of  April,  1579,  with  the  exception  of  the 



two  years  he  passed  in  Spain,  he  lived  among  the  Mayas. 
Whilst  preaching  the  gospel  he  took  care  to  study  the  customs, 
manners,  mode  of  life,  laws,  institutions,  religion,  and  tradi- 
tions of  the  people  among  whom  he  labored.     He  tells  us,  in 
his  book,  that  their  sciences,  their  history,  and  their  religious 
tenets,  with  the  rites  and  observances  which  they  practised, 
were  contained  in  volumes  written  in  alphabetical  and  ideo- 
graphic characters  on  prepared  deer-skin  (parchment),  or  on 
paper  made  from  the  roots  of  certain  trees.     At  the  impulse  of 
a  misguided  religious  zeal,  attributable,  no  doubt,  to  the  ideas 
and  prejudices  prevalent  in  Spain  in  the  sixteenth  century,  and 
to  his  eaiiy  education,  assuming  the  rights  and  prerogatives  of 
an  inquisitor,  he  ordered  an  auto-de-fe,  which  took  place  in 
the  city  of  Mani,  in  the  year  1561,  in  presence  of  the  majority 
of  the  Spanish  nobility  resident  in  the  country.     It  is  to  be 
regretted  that,  together  with  the  bones  of  a  number  of  human 
beings  that  he  had  disinterred  for  the  occasion,  many  precious 
volumes,  containing  the  history  and  traditions  of  the  Mayas 
written  in  the  characters  in  use  among  them  at  that  time,  and 
other  valuable  objects,  were  consigned  to  the  flames.     Landa 
himself,  in  his  work,  complacently  gives  a  detailed  account  of 
all  the  documents  and  various  other  things  he  thus  caused  to 
be  destroyed;  stating  emphatically,  as  if  to  aUay  some  secret 
pang  of  his  conscience,  that  no  human  being  was  burned  alive, 
although  several  individuals,  fearing  lest  such  horrid  chastise- 
ment should  be  inflicted  on  them,  hanged  themselves,  and  their 
carcasses  were  scattered  through  the  forests  to  become  the  prey 
of  wild  beasts  and  vultures. 

However,  the  historian  owes  Landa  a  debt  of  gratitude, 
since,  in  spite  of  his  blind  fanaticism,  by  a  strange  freak,  and 
as  if  to  atone  for  the  wanton  destruction  of  the  precious  histor- 


ical  data,  he  has  preserved,  with  the  manners  and  customs  of 
the  aborigines,  some  of  the  alphabetical  and  ideographic  char- 
acters used  by  the  Maya  hierogrammatists,  together  with  their 
symbols  for  the  names  of  days  and  months.  These  have  served 
as  a  key  to  decipher  some  pages  of  the  Troano  MS.,  as  well 
as  some  of  the  inscriptions  painted  on  the  walls  of  the  apart- 
ments in  the  palaces  at  Kabah  and  other  places.  Whatever 
certain  Americanists  may  say,  there  can  be  no  doubt  as  to  the 
genuineness  of  said  characters  and  symbols,  nor  as  to  the  good 
faith  of  Landa,  whose  mental  blindness  we  can  only  pity  and 


Note  II.     (Page  xxix.) 

(4)  Fray  Diego  Lopez  de  Cogolludo  was  a  native  of  Alcala  de 
Henares,  Spain;  I  have  been  unable  to  obtain  data  concerning 
his  family.  The  date  of  his  birth  and  that  of  his  death  are 
unknown.  Though  always  ready  to  bestow  praise  on  each  and 
every  member  of  his  Order,  he  is  most  reticent  when  speaking 
of  himself.  He  seems  to  have  been  a  man  of  superior  intel- 
ligence, remarkably  free-minded  for  his  age  and  calling.  From 
his  "  Historia  de  Yucathan,"  a  great  part  of  which  is  dedicated 
to  the  doings  and  sayings  of  his  friends  and  associates  in  the 
evangelical  labor  of  preaching  the  gospel  and  catechising  the 
aborigines,  we  learn  that  he  received  the  sacred  orders  in  the 
Convent  of  St.  Francis,  in  his  native  city,  whence  he  came  as 
missionary  to  Yucatan  in  1634,  being  one  of  twenty -five  monks 
brought  to  the  country  by  Eev.  Francisco  Ximenes  de  Santa 
Maria.  Father  Juan  Coronel,  author  of  a  Maya  grammar 
published  in  Mexico,  was  his  teacher  of  the  Maya  language. 
During  the  twenty -two  years  that  elapsed  from  the  time  of 
his  arrival  until  1656,  the  last  year  mentioned  in  his  work,  he 
occupied  many  posts  of  importance  in  his  Order.  He  visited 
the  cities  of  Guatemala  and  Mexico,  travelling  on  foot.  "While 
he  was  Superior  or  Guardian  of  the  Convent  of  Motiil,  a  great 
famine  occurred  in  the  country.  The  sufferings  of  the  people 
are  said  to  have  been  very  severe,  many  dying  of  inanition. 
He  also  tells  of  a  terrible  epidemic,  that,  judging  by  the  symp- 
toms, minutely  described,  was  yellow  fever  of  the  most  virulent 

Page  17-3. 

Plate  LXVII. 

5>  Ni 




^     5M 


form.  It  began  in  1648,  and  lasted  two  years,  reducing  the 
population  of  the  country  by  one-half.  CogoUudo  wrote  his 
work  at  intervals  as  his  duties  allowed  him,  while  Superior  of 
the  Convent  of  Cacalchen.  The  MS.  was  sent  to  Spain,  and 
published  in  Madrid  in  1688  by  Father  Francisco  de  Ayeta, 
procurator-general  of  the  Order  of  St.  Francis  for  aU.  the  prov- 
inces of  New  Spain,  having  been  granted  a  copyright  by  the 
king ;  the  printer  was  Juan  Garcia  Infanzon.  Copies  of  this 
first  edition  are  now  extremely  rare.     (Plate  LXVII.) 


Note  III.     (Page  xxxi.) 

(1)  The  Troano  MS.  is  one  of  the  books  written  for  the  use  of 
the  Maya  priests  and  noblemen.  It  is  one  of  the  few  anal- 
tes  that  escaped  destruction  at  the  hands  of  the  over-zealous 
missionaries  who  came  to  Yucatan  even  before  the  conquest  of 
that  country  by  the  Spaniards.  How  it  was  saved  from  their 
iconoclastic  fury,  it  is  difficult  to  surmise;  nor  is  it  known  who 
brought  it  to  Spain.  CogoUudo,  describing  these  Maya  books/ 
says:  "  They  were  composed  of  a  scroll  of  paper  ten  or  twelve 
varas  (thirty  to  thirty-six  feet)  long,  doubled  up  so  as  to  form 
folds  about  eight  inches  (una  pahna)  wide,  placed  between  two 
boards,  beautifully  ornamented,  that  served  as  cover."  Landa 
tells  us  that^  "  the  paper  was  manufactured  from  the  roots  of 
certain  trees,  and  that  when  spread  in  sheets,  these  were  coated 
with  a  white  and  unalterable  varnish  on  which  one  could  easily 
write."  The  written  space  on  each  leaf  of  the  Troano  MS. 
measures  five  by  nine  inches. 

The  learned  Abbe  Brasseur,  returning  from  his  expedition  to 
Yucatan,  passing  through  Madrid,  made  the  acquaintance  of 
Seiior  Dn.  Juan  Tro  y  Ortelano,  professor  of  paleography  at  the 
University  of  that  city.  That  gentleman  showed  to  Brasseur 
an  old  manuscript  which  he  said  was  Mexican.  The  abbe  at 
once  recognized  in  it  some  of  the  characters  of  the  Maya 
alphabet  preserved  by  Landa.     He  asked,  and  was  graciously 

'  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yvcathan,  lib.  iv.,  chap,  v.,  p.  185. 
'Landa,  L<xs  Uosas  dc  Yiiaitnn,  chap,  vii.,  p.  •14. 


permitted,  to  make  a  copy  of  the  document.  The  work  was 
done  by  Mr.  Henry  Bourgeois,  the  artist  who  had  accompanied 
Abbe  Brasseur  to  Yucatan,  and  the  task  occupied  two  years  and 
a  half  of  the  artist's  time.  It  was  published  by  the  French 
Government  under  the  title  of  "Manuscrit  Troano,"  from  the 
name  of  the  owner  of  the  original. 

This  Maya  manuscript  is,  indeed,  a  most  precious  docu- 
ment, for  it  is  a  brilliant  light  that,  besides  the  monumental 
inscriptions,  now  illuminates  the  darkness  which  surrounds  the 
history  of  the  ancient  inhabitants  of  the  peninsula  of  Yuca- 
tan. The  second  part,  after  describing  the  events  that  took 
place  during  the  awful  cataclysms  that  caused  the  destruction 
of  ten  different  countries,  one  of  which,  called  Mu,  Avas  proba- 
bly Plato's  Atlantis,  is  mostly  dedicated  to  the  recital  of  mete- 
orological and  geological  phenomena  that  occurred  in  the 
"Land  of  the  Serpent,"  also  called  Beb  (tree),  of  which 
Mayab  formed  a  part. 


Note  IV.     (Pages  xxxviii.  and  150.) 

(1)  "What  bitter  irony !  Every  day,  all  over  the  land,  some 
■workingmen  in  the  haciendas  (plantations),  sirvientes  as  they 
are  called,  are  pitilessly  and  arbitrarily  flogged  by  their  over- 
seers ;  put  in  stocks  during  the  night,  so  that  their  day's  work 
may  not  be  left  undone,  and  otherwise  cruelly  punished  for  the 
smallest  offence  or  oversight.  True,  we  are  told  that  there  are 
laws  printed  in  the  codes  that  forbid  such  iniquitous  treatment, 
and  that  those  subjected  to  it  can  complain.  Complain !  And 
to  whom  ?  If  they  lay  their  grievances  before  the  owner  of 
the  hacienda,  their  only  redress  is  to  receive  a  double  ration  of 
lashes  for  {su  atrevimiento  de  quejarse)  daring  to  complain.  If 
they  lodge  a  complaint  before  a  Judge,  as  by  law  they  have  a 
right,  he,  of  course,  is  the  friend  or  relative  of  the  planter. 
He  himself  may  be  a  planter.  On  his  own  plantation  he  has 
servants  Avho  are  treated  in  like  manner.  What  remains  for 
the  poor  devil  to  do  but  to  endure  and  be  resigned  ?  That  is 
all.  His  fathers  have  suffered  as  he  suffers,  as  his  children  ^^'ill 

These  facts  I  do  not  report  from  hearsay,  but  fi'om  actual 
personal  observation.  How  many  times  have  I  ^vitnessed  the 
whipping  of  some  poor  creature,  for  the  most  trifling  cause, 
without  being  able  to  interfere  in  his  behalf,  knowing  weU  that 
such  interference  would  be  resented,  and  would  entail  on  the 
victim  a  more  severe  punishment  later  on  !  To  a  gentleman,  a 
very  stanch  Catholic,  who  considered  it  a  sin  to  fail  to  attend 


mass  every  morning,  who  had  been  educated  in  the  colleges  of 
Europe  and  of  the  United  States,  I  was  once  making  some 
observations  on  the  bad  treatment  inflicted  on  the  Indians  in 
the  plantations,  which,  though  most  Christianlike,  was  not- 
withstanding extremely  barbarous,  when  he  interrupted  me  by 
saying,  "Well,  they  are  accustomed  to  it.  '  Al  indio  pan  y 
palo  '  ('  For  the  Indian,  bread  and  stick ')  is  the  common 
saying  throughout  the  country." 

Alas!  for  the  poor  Indian  this  saying  is  true  only  in  part, 
for  very  little  bread  falls  to  his  share,  but  abundance  of  lashes. 
Of  course,  those  ill-treated  people  at  times  become  exasperated 
— who  would  not  ?  They  kill  their  overseers.  Woe  to  them 
then !  for  they  are  soon  and  surely  made  to  remember  that  there 
are  criminal  laws,  enacted  by  congress  to  punish  such  as  they. 

During  twelve  years  that  I  have  dwelt  amid  the  ruined 
cities  of  the  ancient  Mayas,  in  the  depth  of  the  forests  of  the 
Yucatan  peninsula,  I  have  had  occasion  to  study  the  character 
of  the  Indians  as  weU.  as  the  remains  of  the  palaces  and  temples 
where,  not  so  very  long  ago,  their  ancestors  burned  copal  and 
incense  in  honor  of  their  gods.  I  have  found  that  the  Indians, 
treated  kindly,  as  every  intelligent  being,  human  or  not  human, 
should  be,  were  generally  as  good  as,  if  not  better  than,  their 
white  or  inestizo  countrymen.  Of  course,  there  are  exceptions; 
these,  however,  are  rare,  and  are  to  be  found  among  those  who 
have  been  brought  up  by  some  white  or  mestizo  master. 

With  Madame  Le  Plongeon,  I  have  been  altogether  in  their 
power  for  months  at  a  time,  in  the  midst  of  deep  forests,  far 
from  any  city  or  village,  far  from  any  inhabited  place;  I  have 
invariably  found  them  respectful,  honest,  polite,  unobtrusive, 
patient,  and  brave.  I  cannot  say  as  much  for  the  mestizos  in 
general;  though  among  them,  also,  there  are  honorable  excep- 


tions,  unhappily  not  as  numerous  as  might  be  desired.  During 
my  expeditions  I  have  always  preferred  to  be  accompanied  by 
Indians;  I  could  trust  them  even  in  case  of  alarm  from  the 
hostile  Indians  of  Chan  Scmta  Cruz.  They  knew  that  I  had 
full  confidence  in  them.  I  never  had  occasion  to  regret  having 
relied  on  them.  Of  course,  they  have  defects;  but,  Who  has 

With  Hon.  Henry  Fowler,  who,  when  colonial  secretary  of 
the  colony  of  British  Honduras,  in  1878,  made  an  exploration 
in  the  uninhabited  parts  of  the  country,  accompanied  by  half 
a  dozen  Indians  and  two  American  guides,  I  will  say,  "  When 
the  Indian  is  sober,  he  is  always  a  gentleman."  ^ 

During  my  last  sojourn  at  Cliichen,  in  December,  1884, 
I  had  unearthed  an  altar  sustained  by  fifteen  atlantes  of  fine 
workmanship,  and  painted  with  bright  colors.  One  of  these 
particularly  attracted  the  attention  of  some  Indians  who  lived 
in  the  forest  a  few  miles  from  the  ancient  city,  perhaps  be- 
cause the  ornaments  that  adorned  it  appeared  like  the  chasubles 
worn  by  Catholic  priests  when  celebrating  mass.  They  came 
to  look  at  it  several  times.  At  last  they  begged  me  to  give  it 
to  them,  to  carry  to  their  village,  notwithstanding  its  weight. 

"  What  do  you  want  it  for?  "  I  inquired  of  them.  "  Oh," 
they  answered,  "we  will  build  a  house  for  it;  we  will  burn 
wax  candles  and  incense  in  its  honor,  and  we  shall  worship  it 
— it  is  so  pretty!  "  they  added. 

I  then  learned  that  in  a  cavern,  in  the  depth  of  the  forest, 
they  venerated  another  ancient  statue,  which  they  called  Zac- 
talali,  that  is,  the  ' '  blow  or  slap  of  a  white  man. ' '  But  they 
would  not  show  it  to  me  unless  I  subscribed  to  certain  condi- 

'  Hon.  Henry  Fowler,  Official  Report  of  an  Excursion  in  the  Interior  of 
British  Honduras.     (Belize.) 


tions,  among  others  not  to  make  known  the  place  where  it  Avas 

The  hnage  represents  a  man  with  a  long  beard,  kneeling, 
the  hands  raised  to  a  level  with  the  head,  the  palms  upturned. 
On  his  back  he  carries  a  bag  containing,  according  to  the 
Indians,  Bui  y  uah,  a  paste  made  of  a  mixture  of  corn  and 
beans.  It  is  now  black  with  the  smoke  of  wax  candles  and 
incense  burnt  before  it  by  the  worshippers.  Before  applying 
the  lighted  torch  to  the  felled  trees  that  are  cut  down  to  prepare 
the  ground  for  sowing  corn  and  beans,  the  devotees  repair  to 
Zactalali's  sanctuary,  and  place  before  him  calabashes  filled 
with  the  refreshing  beverage  called  Zacha,  made  from  corn. 
They  burn  copal  and  wax  candles,  imploring  him  to  cause  the 
wood  to  burn  weU.;  which  is  for  them  most  important,  since 
on  the  more  or  less  thorough  burning  of  the  trees  depends  the 
greater  or  lesser  abundance  of  the  crops.  At  the  beginning  of 
June,  after  the  first  showers  of  the  rainy  season,  and  before  the 
sowing  of  the  seeds,  they  again  visit  the  cavern  to  implore 
the  god  to  grant  them  a  plentiful  harvest  and  to  prevent  the 
animals  of  the  forest  from  eating  and  destroying  the  crops. 
Having  obtained  these  favors,  at  the  time  of  the  harvest  the 
grateful  worshippers  again  come  to  pay  their  homage  to  their 
beneficent  deity.  They  come  with  their  wives  iand  children, 
bringing  the  finest  ears  of  corn,  the  ripest  squashes,  the  primitias 
of  the  fields,  besides  roasted  corn  and  various  other  offerings. 
They  then  kneel  in  the  presence  of  the  image,  having  previously 
presented  their  oblations  and  lighted  a  large  number  of  wax 
candles.  Soon  the  smoke  of  a  mixture  of  incense  and  copal 
gathered  from  the  trees  in  the  forest,  with  ground  roasted  corn, 
fills  the  cavern ;  and  the  devotees,  to  the  accompaniment  of  a 
violin,  a  tiiiikul,  a  zacatan,  and  other  musical  instruments 


used  by  their  forefathers  in  their  ancient  religious  rites,  chant 
some  prayers  of  the  Catholic  Church.  These  they  repeat  over 
and  over  again,  counting  the  beads  of  their  rosaries.  It  is  a 
strange  medley  of  ancient  and  modern  idolatry.  But  what 
matters  it,  since  it  makes  them  happy?  And  they  have  so 
few  joys  in  their  life. 


Note  Y.     (Pages  xxxix.,  xl.) 

Eligio  Ancona,  "  Historia  de  Yucatan,"  vol.  i.,  p.  37. 

(3)  Senor  Dn.  Eligio  Ancona,  who,  in  1875,  was  governor 
of  Yucatan  when  Madame  Le  Plongeon  and  I  discovered  and 
unearthed  the  statue  of  Prince  Coh  (Chaacmol),  is  a  Yuca- 
tan writer  well  known  in  his  country.  Besides  several  his- 
torical novels  of  doubtful  merit,  and  a  history  of  Yucatan  of 
no  great  value,  he  edited,  at  his  own  expense,  after  the  death 
of  the  author,  the  Maya  dictionary  compiled  in  great  part  by 
Dn.  Juan  Pio  Perez,  a  gentleman  who  applied  himself  to  the 
study  of  things  relating  to  the  ancient  history  of  the  aborig- 
ines of  his  fatherland.  Whatever  may  be  said  of  the  history  of 
Yucatan,  in  four  volumes,  written  by  Seiior  Ancona,  and  its 
worth  respecting  the  events  that  have  taken  place  since  the 
Spanish  conquest,  I  leave  to  others  to  decide.  But  when  he 
attempts  to  write  on  the  ancient  history  of  the  Mayas  it  may 
be  confidently  said  that  it  is  a  fictitious  production  of  his  fan- 
ciful imagination,  founded  on  the  narratives  of  Bishop  Landa, 
CogoUudo,  Lizana,  and  others,  with  some  extracts  from  the 
writings  of  Abbe  Brasseur. 

(1)  Bernardo  de  Lizana  was  born  in  1581,  at  Ocafia,  in  the 
province  of  Toledo.  He  entered  the  Order  of  St.  Francis 
in  the  convent  of  Ms  native  city.  He  came  as  a  missionary  to 
Yucatan  in  1606,  with  eleven  other  monks,  under  the  care  of 
Father  Diego  de  Castro.  He  learned  with  great  perfection 
the  Maya  language,  and  was  teacher  of  it  for  many  years. 


He  is  said  to  have  been  one  of  the  most  clever  preachers 
of  his  time.  In  his  disposition  he  was  very  affable.  Every- 
body loved  him.  During  the  twenty-five  years  of  his  resi- 
dence in  Yucatan,  he  fiUed  the  highest  posts  of  his  Order, 
except  that  of  Provincial.  It  is  reported  that  after  predicting 
the  hour  of  his  death,  he  passed  from  this  life  in  1631. 

Father  Lizana  wrote  several  works,  aU  valuable.  They  are 
to-day,  if  not  all  lost,  very  difficult  to  find.  Cogolludo  quotes 
from  his  "  Devocionario  de  N*  Senora  de  Itzamal,  Historia 
de  Tucathan  y  Su  Conquista  Espiritual. "  Brasseur  has  pre- 
served a  fragment  entitled  "  Del  principio  y  fundacion  de 
estos  Cuyos  6  Mules  deste  sitio  y  pueblo  de  Itzamal  "  in  his 
translation  of  Landa's  "  Eelacion  de  las  Cosas  de  Yucatan." 


Note  VI.     (Page  3.) 

(1)  William  Robertson,  in  the  second  edition  (1794)  of  his 
work,  "An  Historical  Disquisition  concerning  Ancient  India" 
(page 292),  says:  "It  may  be  considered  as  the  general  result 
of  all  the  inquiries,  reasonings,  and  calculations  with  respect  to 
Indian  astronomy,  which  have  hitherto  been  made  public,  that 
the  motion  of  the  heavenly  bodies,  and  more  particularly  their 
situation  at  the  commencement  of  the  different  epochs  to  which 
the  four  sets  of  tables  refer,  are  ascertained  with  great  accu- 
racy; and  that  many  of  the  elements  of  their  calculations, 
especially  for  ver}'  remote  ages,  are  verified  by  an  astonishing 
coincidence  with  the  tables  of  the  modern  astronomy  of 
Europe,  when  improved  by  the  latest  and  most  nice  deduc- 
tions from  the  theory  of  gravitation.  .  .  These  conclu- 
sions are  rendered  particularly  interesting  by  the  evidence 
which  they  afford  of  an  advancement  in  science  unexampled 
in  the  history  of  rude  nations." 

One  of  the  astronomical  tables  referred  to  by  Mr.  Robert- 
son goes  back  to  the  year  3102  before  the  Christian  era;  that 
is,  a  century  previous  to  the  time  when  the  Arj^^ans  established 
their  first  settlements  on  the  banks  of  the  river  Saras'wati, 
according  to  Mr.  Adolphe  Pictet  ("  Les  Origines  Indo-Euro- 
piennes  ").  At  that  time  the  Brahmins  were  not  the  powerful 
caste  and  corporation  of  learned  philosophers  which  they 
became  after  the  Aryans  made  themselves  masters  of  Hindo- 
stan.     That  country  was  then  under  the  sway  of  the  highly 


civilized  ISTdg^s.  These  were  Maya  colonists  that,  having 
settled  in  very  remote  ages  in  the  Dekkan,  by  little  and  little 
had  extended  their  dominion  over  the  less  cultured  aborigines. 
The  Brahmins,  it  is  well  known,  borrowed  their  system  of  cos- 
mogony and  acquired  their  knowledge  of  astronomy,  as  well 
as  aU  other  sciences  and  the  arts  of  civilization,  from  the 
Nagds,  whom,  afterward,  they  relentlessly  persecuted. 

Again,  Mr.  Eobertson  says  (page  296):  "  It  is  accordingly 
for  those  very  remote  ages  (about  five  thousand  years  distant 
from  the  present)  that  their  astronomy  is  most  accurate,  and 
the  nearer  we  come  down  to  our  own  times,  the  more  the  con- 
formity of  its  results  with  ours  diminishes.  It  seems  reason- 
able to  suppose  that  the  time  Avhen  its  rules  are  most  accurate 
is  the  time  when  the  observations  were  made  on  which  these 
rules  are  founded.  .  .  .  The  superior  perfection  of  the 
Indian  tables  becomes  always  more  conspicuous  as  we  go  far- 
ther back  into  antiquity.  This  shows,  likewise,  how  difiicult 
it  is  to  construct  any  astronomical  tables  which  wiU  agree 
with  the  state  of  the  heavens  for  a  period  so  remote  from  the 
time  when  the  tables  are  constructed  as  four  or  five  thousand 
years.  It  is  only  from  astronomy  in  its  most  advanced  state, 
such  as  it  has  attained  in  modern  Europe,  that  such  accurac}-  is 
to  be  expected."  Again  (page  297):  ""When  an  estimate  is 
endeavored  to  be  made  of  the  geometrical  skill  necessary  for 
the  construction  of  the  Indian  tables  and  rules,  it  is  found  to 
be  very  considerable;  and,  besides  the  knowledge  of  elemen- 
tary geometry,  it  must  have  required  plane  and  spherical  trig- 
onometry, or  something  equivalent  to  them,  together  with 
certain  methods  of  approximating  to  the  values  of  geometrical 
magnitudes,  which  seem  to  rise  very  far  above  the  elements 
of  any  of  those  sciences.     Some  of  these  last  mark  also  very 


clearly  that  the  places  to  which  these  tables  are  adapted  must 
be  situated  between  the  tropics,  because  they  are  altogether 
inapplicable  at  a  greater  distance  from  the  equator."  And 
(page  298):  "From  this  long  induction,  the  conclusion  which 
seems  obviously  to  result  is  that  the  Indian  astronomy  is 
founded  upon  observations  which  were  made  at  a  very  early 
period;  and  when  we  consider  the  exact  agreement  of  the 
places  which  they  assign  to  the  sun  and  moon  and  other  heav- 
enly bodies,  at  that  epoch,  with  those  deduced  from  the  tables 
of  De  la  Caille  and  Mayer,  it  strongly  confirms  the  truth  of 
the  position  which  I  have  been  endeavoring  to  establish  con- 
cerning the  early  and  high  state  of  civihzation  in  India." 


Note  VII.     (Page  15.) 

(1)  In  Maya  there  are  several  words  for  "  ocean,"  "  sea  " — 
aU  conveying  the  idea  of  fiery  or  yellow  liquid.  To  comprehend 
the  motives  that  prompted  those  who  applied  these  names  to  the 
element  by  which  the  planet  is  mostly  covered  would  require 
a  thorough  acquaintance  with  the  geological  notions  of  the 
ancient  Maya  scientists.  But  when  we  reflect  that  names 
were  generally  given  to  objects  by  onomatopoeia,  those  of  the 
sea  may  perhaps  shadow  such  notions.  A  long  dissertation  on 
the  subject  would  here  be  certainly  out  of  place.  I  wiU  there- 
fore content  myself  with  giving  the  etymon  of  the  words, 
leaving  it  to  each  reader  to  draw  his  own  conclusions.  By 
consulting  Maya  dictionaries  we  find  the  various  words  for 
"sea,"  "  ocean,"  to  be kanali,  kaanab,  kaknab,  kankab. 

The  first  I  have  explained  in  the  text,  according  to  the 
monumental  inscriptions  and  the  characters  in  ancient  Maya 
books,  in  which  a  serpent  head  invariably  stands  as  symbol  of 
the  sea — the  Mighty  Serpent. 

The  second,  kaanab,  is  a  word  composed  of  two  primi- 
tives— kaa,  "bitter;"  and  nab,  which  has  various  meanings — 
"gold,"  "unction,"  "palm  of  the  hand."  In  the  countries 
of  the  Western  Continent  it  was  customary  to  anoint  the  kings 
by  pouring  over  their  heads  and  bodies  gold-dust  held  in  the 
palm  of  the  hand.^     Is  it  a  coincidence  that  the  god,  among 

'  Pr.  Pedro  Simon,  Koticias  IlisiorUilcs  de  las  Conquistas  de  Tierra  Firme 
en  el  Nuevo  lieino  de  Grenada.  Apvd  Kingsborough,  vol.  iii. 


the  Assyrians,  who  presided  over  the  unction  of  the  kings,  was 
called  Naho  ;  and  that  Nub,  in  Egypt,  was  the  surname  of  the 
god  Set,'^  and  Web  meant  lord?  In  our  day  Nabob  is  still  the 
title  for  a  viceroy  in  India.  It  also  means  a  man  of  great 

In  aftertimes  gold  was  replaced  by  oil  in  the  royal  unc- 
tion, and  by  lustral  water,  poured  from  the  pahn  of  the  hand, 
in  the  ceremony  of  purification. 

The  third  word,  kakiiab,  is  composed  of  two  primitives 
— kak,  "  fire,"  and  nab,  "  the  pahn  of  the  hand."  Like  the 
Egyptians,  the  Mayas  figured  the  earth  as  an  old  man  with 
his  face  turned  toward  the  east,  holding  in  his  hand  the  spirit 
of  life,^  Fire,  the  "  soul  of  the  universe,"  the  primordial  cause 
of  all  things,  according  to  the  Yajur-veda,^  and  to  all  ancient 
philosophers  whose  maxim  was  Corpus  est  terra,  aniraa  est 

The  Aryans,  and  all  peoples  allied  to  them,  represented  the 
earth  as  a  woman  and  called  it  "  Mother  Earth,"  even  as  we  do 
to-day.  Would  not  this  show  that  the  Egyptians  were  not 
of  Aryan  stock  as  some  Egyptologists  pretend;  but,  on  the 
other  hand,  that  they  were  closely  related  to  the  Mayas  ? — a 
fact  which  becomes  more  and  more  evident  as  we  study  deeper 
their  traditions,  their  manners,  and  their  customs,  and  com- 
pare more  carefully  their  cosmogonic  conceptions  and  astro- 
nomical notions. 

As  to  the  fourth  word,  kankab,  it  is  also  composed  of  the 
two  primitives,  kaii,  "yellow,"  andkab,  "hand."     It  seems 

'  Henry  Brugsch,  History  of  Egypt  under  the  Pliaraohs,  vol.  i.,  pp.  312- 
236  ;  vol.  ii.,  pp.  120-246. 
'  Webster's  Dictionary. 

^  Codex  Cortesianus,  plates  vii.-viii.     See  illustrations,  plates  Iv.-lvi. 
■■  Asiatic  Mesearches,  vol.  viii.,  pp.  431-433. 


to  have  originated  in  the  same  personification  of  the  earth  as 
an  old  man,  with  a  golden  or  fiery  hand,  a  yellow  hand.  It  is 
the  same  conception  of  the  fire  and  the  water  allied  to  produce 
all  things,  that  we  see  portrayed  in  the  cosmogonic  diagrams 
of  the  Mayas,  the  Hindoos,  and  the  Chaldees. 


Note  VIII.     (Page  82.) 

(1)  In  his  work  "  Lares  and  Penates,"  Mr.  William  Burck- 
hardt  Barker,  in  Chapter  IV.,  "  On  Certain  Portraits  of  Huns 
and  their  Identity  with  the  Extinct  Paces  in  America,"  says:, 
"  Mr.  Abington's  observations  on  this  piece  (55),  a  head  of  most 
monstrous  form,  in  a  conical  cap,  are  of  so  remarkable  a  nature 
that  I  must  be  permitted  to  publish  them  here.  .  .  .  Mr. 
Abington  says:  'This  is  the  most  extraordinary  thing  in  the 
whole  collection.  On  the  first  view  I  was  struck  with  the 
identity  of  its  strange  profile  Avith  the  figures  sculptured  upon 
the  monuments  and  edifices  of  an  extinct  people  in  Central 
America.  Many  of  Stephens's  engravings  represent  the  same 
faces  exactly.'  .  .  .  Is  it  not  a  faithful  and  correct  por- 
trait of  a  Hun  ?  .  .  .  Hitherto  the  sculptures  of  Central 
America  have  only  been  wondered  at,  but  not  explained. 
Does  not  this  head  identify  them  with  the  Huns,  and  thereby 
let  light  in  upon  a  dark  mystery?  .  .  .  The  following 
sketches  of  the  sculptures  in  Central  America,  taken  from 
Stephens's  plates^  and  the  Quarterly  Journal,  will  show  that 
my  notion  of  the  matter  is  not  a  mere  fancy.  .  .  . 
Heads  so  very  unusual,  not  to  say  unnatural,  though  found 
in  such  distant  places,  must  surely  have  come  from  the  same 
stock.  .  .  .  We  have  written  descriptions  of  the  inhuman 
appearance   of  the  Huns  who   devastated  the  nation;   but  I 

'  John  L.  Stephens,  Incidents  of  Travels  in  Central  America  and  Yucatan. 
(The  author.) 


never  met  with  any  representation  of  them  either  pictorial  or 
sculptured.  Perhaps  you  have  the  gratification  of  first  bring- 
ing before  the  world  a  true  and  exact  representation  of  that  once 
terrible  but  now  forgotten  race,  and  that,  too,  by  an  illustration 
probably  unique  ;  also  of  removing  the  veil  that  has  hitherto 
concealed  the  mysterious  origin  of  the  men  who  have  left  the 
memorial  of  their  peculiar  conformation  upon  the  sculptured 
stones  of  America,  but  who  have  been  long  extinct."  ^  .  .  . 
Up  to  here  Mr.  Barker.  It  is  certain  that  the  peoples  who 
left  images  of  their  strange  and  hideous  visages  sculptured  on 
the  temples  and  palaces  of  Copan,  Palenque,  Manche,  and  other 
places  in  the  countries  watered  by  the  river  Uzumacinta  and 
its  confluents,  did  not  belong  to  the  Maya  race.  But  it  is 
equally  certain  that  it  would  be  most  difficult,  not  to  say  impos- 
sible, to  prove  that  they  did  to  that  of  the  Huns ;  notwith- 
standing the  fact  that  there  exist  abundant  proofs  of  the 
presence  in  America,  before  and  after  the  beginning  of  the 
Christian  era,  of  Mongol  or  Tartar  tribes,  and  that  these  have 
left  their  traces  in  many  places  of  the  "Western  Continent.- 
These  portraits  sculptured  on  the  temples  of  Palenque,  Manche, 
etc.,  may  very  well  be  those  of  people  from  Tahiti  and  other 
islands  of  the  Pacific,  visited  by  the  Mayas  in  the  course  of 
their  voyages  to  India.  It  was  customary  with  the  inhabit- 
ants of  certain  of  these  islands  to  flatten  the  skulls  of  the 
infants  of  the  warrior  caste,  in  the  shape  of  a  wedge,  to  make 
them  appear  hideous  when  grown  up,  so  tliat  by  their  looks 
they  might  inspire  terror  in  the  hearts  of  their  foes. 

'  See,  ubi  supra,  Plate  XXIX. 

"  Joliu  Ranking,  Historical  Researches  on  the  Conquest  of  Peru,  Mexico, 
etc.,  hy  the  Mongols. 


Note  IX.     (Page  87.) 

(3)  This  same  custom  of  making  use  of  mercury  for  the 
preservation  of  corpses  exists  still  in  Thibet.  C.  F.  Gordon 
Gumming  (Mrs.  Helen  Hunt),  in  her  interesting  book  "  In  the 
Himalayas  and  on  the  Indian  Plains  "  (page  442),  says:  "  We 
tried  to  exercise  strong  faith  while  recalling  Hue's  curious 
account  of  Tartar  funerals,  telling  how,  when  a  great  chief 
dies,  several  of  the  finest  young  men  and  women  of  the  tribe 
are  made  to  swallow  mercury  till  they  suffocate,  the  supposi- 
tion being  that  those  who  thus  die  continue  to  look  fresh  after 
death."  In  a  note  she  adds:  "Quicksilver  is  believed  to 
endow  the  body  with  power  to  resist  death  and  avoid  further 
transmigration.  So  Hindoo  wizards  prepare  elixirs  of  mer- 
cury and  powdered  mica,  Avhich  are  supposed  to  contain  the 
very  essence  of  the  god  Siva  and  one  of  his  wives. ' ' 

We  read  in  the  "Travels  of  Marco  Polo,"  published  in 
Edinburgh  by  Hugh  Murray  (1844),  that  this  ancient  Italian 
traveller  found  this  same  custom,  of  using  mercury  for  the 
preservation  of  corpses,  existing  in  India  and  China  when,  in 
1250,  he  visited  those  countries.  Father  Hue  also  makes  men- 
tion of  it  in  his  work,  "  KeooUections  of  a  Journey  through 
Tartary,  Thibet,  and  China,"  and  so  does  Bayard  Taylor, 
Bishop  Heber,  and  other  modern  travellers. 


Note  X.     (Page  88.) 

(1)  Bishop  Heber,  in  his  "Narrative  of  a  Journey  through 
the  Upper  Provinces  of  India"  (vol.  i.,  p.  386  ;  vol.  ii.,  pp. 
430,  525,  530  ;  vol.  iii.,  pp.  48,  49),  says  "that  at  the  city  of 
Cairah  in  Guzerat,  as  in  Greece,  the  statues  have  the  white  of 
the  eyes  made  of  ivory  and  silver.  The  statues  of  the  gods 
are  still  painted  with  colors  emblematic  of  their  attributes. 
The  gods  Vishnu  and  Krishna  are  painted  blue;  Thoth,  the 
god  of  wisdom  and  letters,  red,  etc." 

(2)  Henry  Layard,  "Nineveh  and  its  Remains"  (vol.  ii., 
part  ii.,  chap,  iii.),  speaks  of  the  painted  sculptures  discovered 
by  him  in  Nineveh,  Khorsabad,  and  other  places;  and  in  his 
work,  "  Nineveh  and  Babylon  "  (p.  276),  he  mentions  the  find- 
ing of  statues  with  eyes  made  of  ivory  and  glass.  Diodorus 
Siculus  (lib.  ii.,  c.  xx.)  speaks  of  the  figures  of  men  and  ani- 
mals painted  on  the  walls  of  the  palace  of  Semiramis  in 
Babylon,  and  so  also  does  Ezeldel  (chap,  xxii.,  verses  14,  15) 
and  Smith,  "Five  Monarchies"  (vol.  i.,  pp.  450,  451). 

(3)  Eusebius,  "  Prcep.  et  Demons.  Evang."  (lib.  iii.,  chap. 
xi.),  says  that  the  Egyptians  painted  the  statues  of  their  gods. 
Kneph,  Amen,  Ha,  Nilus,  were  painted  blue.  Set  and  Atuin 
were  painted  red.  Sir  Gardner  Wilkinson,  in  "  Manners  and 
Customs  of  Ancient  Egyptians"  (vol.  iii.,  chap,  xiii.,  pp.  10, 
207),  also  says  that  the  Egyptians  painted  the  statues  of  their 
gods  and  of  their  kings,  and  provided  them  with  eyes  made  of 
ivory  or  glass. 

(4)  The  Greeks  colored  their  statues  and  provided  thena  with 


Note  XI.     (Pages  100,  127,  128.) 

(1)  J.  Talboys  Wheeler  informs  us  that  the  JVdgds  were  a 
tribe  famous  in  the  Kshatriya  traditions,  whose  history  is 
deeply  interwoven  with  that  of  the  Hindoos;  that  they  wor- 
shipped the  serpent  as  a  national  di^anity,  and  that  they  had 
adopted  it  as  a  national  emblem.'  From  it  they  derived  their 

The  origin  of  the  JVdgds  is  unknown  to  Indianists  and  other 
writers  on  the  history  of  India.  They  agree,  however,  that 
they  were  strangers  in  the  country,  having  established  them- 
selves in  the  southern  parts  of  Hindostan  in  times  anterior  to 
the  war  of  the  Pandavas  and  the  Kauvaras;  nay,  anterior  even 
to  the  epoch  when  the  Aryan  colonists  from  Bactria  emi- 
grated to  the  Punjab  and  founded  their  first  settlements  on  the 
banks  of  the  Saraswati  when  this  river  still  emptied  itself  into 
the  Indus.  They  do  not  know  whence  they  came,  nor  in  Avhat 
part  of  the  earth  their  mother  country  was  situated. 

Conjectures  are  not  wanting  on  that  point.  Because  these 
JVdgds  worshipped  the  serpent,  some  have  presumed  that  they 
were  a  tribe  of  Scythians,^  whose  race,  Herodotus  tells  us,  was 
said  to  have  descended  from  a  mythical  being,  half-woman, 
half -serpent,  who  bore  three  sons  to  Heracles.*  "We  will  not 
now  inquire  into  the  origin  of  that  myth.      Looking  into  the 

'  J.  Talboys  Wheeler,  Hist,  of  India,  vol.  i.,  p.  146. 
'  Ibid.,  p.  141. 

-'  Herodotus,  Hist.,  lib.  iv.  9-10. 


land  of  fabulous  speculations,  we  might  as  well  imagine  them 
to  have  been  the  descendants  of  that  Emperor  of  Heaven, 
Tien-IIoang  of  Chinese  mythology,  who,  the  Chinese  assert, 
had  the  head  of  a  man  and  the  body  of  a  serpent,  since 
they  were  regarded  by  the  masses  of  Hindoos  as  semi-divine 

"We  have  seen  in  the  early  part  of  this  book  that  the  JVdgcis, 
having  obtained  a  foothold  in  the  Dekkan,  founded  a  colony 
that  in  time  became  a  large  and  powerful  empire  whose 
rulers  governed  the  whole  of  Hindostan.  They  did  not  confine 
themselves  to  India;  but  pushed  their  conquests  toward  the 
Avest  and  northwest,  extending  their  sway  all  over  western 
Asia  to  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean,  introducing  their  civ- 
ilization in  every  ancient  country,  leaving  traces  of  their  wor- 
ship in  almost  every  system  of  religion. 

Pundit  Dayanand  Saraswati,  said  to  be  the  greatest  Sans- 
critist of  modern  India,  and  the  most  versed  in  the  lore  and 
legends  of  Hindostan,'  affirms  that  he  has  discovered  the 
mother  country  of  the  JVdffcis  to  have  been  J*dtclla,  the  antip- 
odes; that  is,  Central  America.^  If  it  be  so,  then  the  Kdgds 
were  cdlonists  from   Mayacli ;  and  their  civilization,   their 

'  H.  P.  Blavatsky,  From  the  Caves  and  the  Jungles  of  Hindostan,  p.  63. 

''  Hid.,  Secret  Doctrine,  vol.  i.,  pp.  27-35. 

Tlie  Swami  Vive  Kananda,  a  learned  Hindoo  monk,  when  lecturing 
in  New  York  on  Yogi,  the  Vedanta,  and  the  religious  doctrines  of  India,  in 
speaking  with  the  author  on  the  origin  of  the  Nagds,  assured  him  that  it 
was  the  received  opinion  of  the  learned  pundits  of  that  country  that  they 
came  originally  from  Pdt&la,  the  antipodes;  that  is,  Central  America.  Pa- 
tala  was  tlie  name  given  by  the  inhabitants  of  India  to  America  in  those 
remote  times.  It  was  also  that  of  a  seaport  and  great  commercial  empo- 
rium frequently  visited  by  ancient  Egyptians  in  their  commercial  intercourse 
with  India.  In  his  Perij^his  maris  Eri/thra'C,  Arrian  informs  us  that  it  was 
situated  at  the  lower  delta  of  the  river  Indus.  Tatta  is  the  modern  name 
of  the  place. 


scientific  attainments,  their  traditions,  their  religious  concep- 
tions, must,  of  necessity,  have  been  those  of  the  Mayas. 

"Will  any  one  object  to  the  fact  of  a  small  colony  of  civilized 
immigrants  establishing  themselves  in  the  midst  of  barbarous 
peoples,  and  growing,  in  the  course  of  a  few  centuries,  so  as  to 
form  a  vast  and  powerful  empire,  exercising  great  influence  on 
the  populations  within  its  limits  and  even  beyond  ?  To  such 
objection  it  may  be  answered,  History  repeats  itself.  Without 
speaking  of  the  origin  of  the  great  kingdoms  whose  history 
forms  our  ancient  history,  let  us  cast  a  glance  at  what  happens 
round  us.  See  what  has  occurred  in  the  same  countries  within 
the  last  two  hundred  and  fifty  years.  From  Fort  St.  George 
and  the  small  settlement  called  Madras,  on  the  narrow  strip  six 
miles  long  and  one  mile  deep,  bought  by  the  English  in  1639, 
on  the  coast  of  Coromandel,  in  the  peninsula  of  Dekkan,  and 
for  which  they  had  to  pay,  as  tribute,  every  year,  the  sum  of 
twelve  hundred  pagodas,  or  about  two  thousand  five  hundred 
dollars,  has  not  the  East  India  Company  by  little  and  little, 
extended  its  domains,  until  in  our  day,  after  a  lapse  of  only 
two  centuries  and  a  half,  they  have  become  the  rich  and 
mighty  British  Indian  Empire,  whose  viceroys  now  rule  part 
of  the  same  territories  conquered  in  olden  times  by  the  Nagds 
and  governed  by  their  Cans,  or  kings  ? 

Are  not  the  English  to-day  endeavoring  to  obtain  a  foot- 
hold in  Afghanistan,  Avhere,  as  we  have  already  seen,'  the 
names  of  cities  and  localities  are  identical  with  the  names  of 
villages  and  places  in  Yucatan,  some  of  which  are  actually 
inhabited,  others  being  in  ruins  ?  For  instance,  Kabul  is  the 
name  of  the  Afghan  capital,  and  of  the  river  on  the  banks  of 
which  it  stands.     It  is  likewise  that  of  a  celebrated  mound  in 

'  See  p.  27. 


the  city  of  Izamal  in  Yucatan.  On  its  summit  once  stood  a 
temple  dedicated  to  the  "miraculous  hand."  It  was  famous 
throughout  the  land,  even  to  the  time  of  the  Spanish  Conquest. 
Father  CogoRudo,  in  his  "Historia  de  Yucathan,"  '  says:  "To 
that  temple  they  brought  their  dead  and  the  sick.  They 
called  it  kabul,  'the  working  hand,'  and  made  great  oflfer- 
ings.  .  .  .  The  dead  were  recalled  to  life,  and  the  sick 
were  healed." 

The  Nahuatls,  who  settled  in  the  northwestern  parts  of  the 
peninsula  of  Yucatan  about  the  sixth  century  of  the  Christian 
era,  used  to  offer  at  that  temple  human  sacrifices  to  obtain  from 
the  god  the  benisons  they  sought.  This  fact  we  learn  from  a 
mezzo-relievo,  in  stucco,  that  adorned  the  frieze  that  ran  round 
the  temple.  (Plate  LXVIII.)  It  represents  a  man  vrith 
Nahuatl  features.  His  body  is  held  in  a  posture  that  must 
have  caused  great  suffering.  His  hands  are  secured  in  stocks ; 
his  elbows  rest  on  the  edge  of  a  hollow  support;  his  emptied 
abdomen  is  propped  by  a  small  stool;  his  knees  touch  the 
ground,  but  his  feet  are  raised  and  wedged  by  an  implement; 
his  intestines  hang  from  his  neck  and  shoulders;  his  heart  is 
strapped  to  his  thigh. 

It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that  since  the  author  took  the 
photograph  here  reproduced,  this  figure,  with  its  accompany- 
ing inscription,  has  been  purposely  destroyed  by  the  owner 
of  the  premises,  because  he  considered  it  an  annoyance  to 
have  interested  parties  coming  to  see  it.  This  is  but  one 
instance  of  that  lack  of  appreciation  manifested  by  the  people 
of  Yucatan  regarding  the  interesting  and  historically  important 
remains  that  make  the  Peninsula  famous  and  attractive.  It  is 
lamentable  that  the  Mexican  Government  authorities  take  no 
'  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yucathan,  lib.  iv.,  chap.  viii. 

Page  197. 

Plate  LXVIII. 



steps  toward  compelling  the  preservation  of  ancient  works  of  art, 
even  in  their  deteriorated  condition.  The  legend  on  the  right, 
in  front  of  the  figure,  translated  verbatim,  reads  as  follows: 


accepts;  welcomes, 

noocol,      lying  face  downward. 

oxnial,      Uxmal. 

That  on  the  back,  over  the  figure: 
I  I       ta,  this. 


UUD,  doubled. 

That  is:  Ta  ox  uuo,  u  tern  kam  uucb  noocol  oxnial. 

Freely  translated:  ''The  thrice  hent  Trum,"  "the  altar  wel- 
comes the  cnished  hody,  lying  face  downward,  of  the  man  from 
TJxmal. ' ' 

It  is  well  to  notice  that  all  the  signs  forming  this  legend  are 


Egyptian  as  well  as  Maya ;  that,  therefore,  any  one  able  to 
read  Egyptian  inscriptions  can,  without  difficulty,  with  the  aid 
of  a  Maya  dictionary,  translate  it  as  well  as  I.  This  proves 
that  the  ancient  Maya  hieratic  alphabet  discovered  by  me  and 
published,  in  1886,  side  by  side  with  the  Egjrptian,  on  page  xii 
of  the  introduction  of  my  book,  "  Sacred  Mysteries  among  the 
Mayas  and  the  Quiches,"  is  a  true  key  to  the  deciphering  of 
some,  at  least,  of  the  Maya  mural  inscriptions,  notwithstand- 
ing the  slanderous  aspersions  of  Dr.  Brinton,  and  his  assertion 
on  page  15  of  his  "  Primer  of  Mayan  Hieroglyphs  "  "that  I 
have  added  nothing  to  corroborate  the  correctness  of  the  inter- 
pretations." But  may  I  ask  why  he  has  not  verified  them? 
Has  he  no  Maya  dictionaries  ?  The  trouble  with  him  is,  judging 
from  his  own  books,  that  he  knows  jpersonally  nothing  on  the 
subject.  Is  he  not  utterly  ignorant  of  the  true  meaning  of  a 
single  Maya  character,  when  in  composition  with  other  signs 
to  form  Avords  and  sentences  ?  Can  he  decipher  one  single  sen- 
tence of  the  Maya  books  ?  Does  he  even  know  Maya  as 
spoken  to-day  ?  How,  then,  does  he  dare  to  attack  the  knowl- 
edge of  those  who,  by  hard  study  during  several  years  passed 
among  people  who  speak  nothing  but  Maya,  have  made  them- 
selves familiar  with  the  subject,  and  set  himself  up  as  an 
authority  on  what  he  does  not  know  ?  Let  him  not  lose  sight 
of  the  fact  that  we  are  no  longer  in  those  times  when  the  peo- 
ple, as  Bishop  Synesius  says  (in  "  Calvit.,"  p.  515),  wish  abso- 
lutely to  be  deceived.  To-day  honest  inquirers  after  knowledge 
object  to  being  gulled  by  mere  pretenders,  even  if  these  boast 
of  the  titles  of  doctor  and  professor  in  a  universitj^. 

We  know  that  the  ancient  Mayas  were  serpent  worship- 
pers.'   They  worshipped  the  serpent,  not  that  they  believed  it 
'  Aug.  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  109. 


to  be  wiser  than,  or  intellectually  superior  to,  any  other  ani- 
mal— they  had  too  much  good  sense  for  that — but  because  it 
was  the  emblem  of  their  country,  the  contour  of  which  figures 
a  serpent  with  an  inflated  breast,  like  the  Egyptian  ur£eus,  for 
which  reason  they  called  it  nohocli  can,  "the  great  ser- 
pent."* The  serpent  was  the  emblem  of  Mayach,^  as  the 
eagle  is  that  of  the  United  States,  the  lion  that  of  England, 
the  bear  that  of  Russia,  the  cock  that  of  France,  etc. 

Judging  from  their  descendants  in  our  day,  the  ancient 
Mayas  must  have  been  fanatical  lovers  of  their  country.  The 
title  of  their  rulers  was  can  (serpent),  as  Tchan  is  to  this  day  that 
of  the  kings  of  Tartary,  Burmah,  and  other  Asiatic  countries ; 
as  it  was  that  of  the  Emperor  of  China  even  in  the  days  of 
Marco  Polo,  and  its  emblem  is  yet  a  dragon.  Like  the  Egyp- 
tian kings  the  Maya  cans  were  initiates  to  the  sacred  mys- 
teries performed  in  the  secrecy  of  their  temples. 

No  one  has  ever  explained  why  the  Asiatic  rulers  took 
upon  themselves  the  title  of  khan,  or  adopted  the  serpent  for 
an  emblem  as  did  the  Egyptian  kings.  The  Maya  language 
offers  a  simple  explanation. 

Can,  "serpent,"  "king,"  by  permutation  becomes  nac, 
the  meaning  of  which  is  "crown,"  and  also  "throne,"  insig- 
nias  of  royalty.  But  the  verb  Naacal  means  "to  be  ele- 
vated," "to  be  raised."  It  was  the  title  adopted  by  the 
initiates  among   the  Mayas,   corresponding  to  our  modern 

'  Cogolludo,  Iliat.  de  Yucathan,  lib.  i.,  chap.  i. 

^  Troano  MS.,  part  ii.,  plate  xvii.,  |  3;  plate  xxvii.,  §  1.  The  tree  was 
another  emblem  of  Mayacli  (Troano  MS.,  part  ii.,  plates  viii.  to  xiii. ; 
Codex  Gortesianus,  plates  vii.  and  viii.).  It  is  well  to  recall  here  that  Egypt 
was  likewise  called  the  Land  of  ike  Tree,  although  the  valley  of  the  Nile  was 
well-nigh  devoid  of  trees.  (Samuel  Birch  in  Gardner  Wilkinson,  Customs, 
and  Manners  of  Ancient  Egyptians,  vol.  ill.,  chap,  xiii.,  p.  300.) 


"His  Highness,"  they  being  elevated  above  their  fellow-men 
by  their  knowledge  and  superior  wisdom.  Transported  to 
India  the  word  became  corrupted,  in  the  course  of  time,  into 
JVaaca  or  Ndgd.  The  title  was  kept  by  the  initiates  who  were 
among  the  Maya  colonists  thalt  settled  in  Dekkan  and  Bur- 
mah.  They  also  preserved  as  emblem  of  their  new  nationality 
that  of  their  mother  country  in  the  antipodes,  and  worshipped 
the  serpent  in  remembrance  of  the  home  of  their  ancestors. 

Elsewhere  I  have  shown  that  the  title  of  the  highpriest, 
chief  of  the  adepts  or  naacals  in  Mayach,  was  Hach-mac, 
"  the  true,  the  very  man."  '  The  title  of  the  pontiff  or  chief 
of  the  Magi,  in  Chaldea,  was  Bdb-mag,  or,  according  to  the 
Maya,  Liab-mac,  the  "old  man;  "'  another  of  his  titles  was 
Nargal,  Maya  Naacal,  Hindoo  Nagd,  "initiate,"  "adept." 

(2)  John  L.  Stephens,  "Incidents  of  Travels  in  Yucatan" 
(vol.  ii.,  p.  311),  speaking  of  these  remarkable  pictures,  says: 
"  The  colors  are  green,  yellow,  red,  blue,  and  a  reddish  brown, 
the  last  being  invariably  the  color  given  to  the  human  flesh. 
Wanting  the  various  tints,  the  engraving,  of  course,  gives 
only  an  imperfect  idea  of  them,  though  even  in  outline  they 
exhibit  a  freedom  of  touch  which  could  only  be  the  result  of 
discipline  and  training  under  masters." 

(1)  "William  Osburn,  in  his  ' '  Monumental  History  of 
Egypt"  (p.  260),  says:  "By  comparing  together  the  remains 
of  different  epochs,  it  clearly  appears  that  Egyptian  art  has 
had  its  periods  of  perfection,  of  decline,  and  of  renaissance,  just 
the  same  as  art  in  Greece  and  Italy.  But  we  have  no  trace 
whatever  of  such  beginnings  in  these  first  productions  of  art  in 
Egypt.     It  burst  upon  us  at  once  in  the  flower  of  its  highest 

'  Le  Plongeon,  Sacred  Mysteries,  p.  30. 
=  lUd.,  p.  45. 


perfection.  Where,  then,  are  the  imperfect  attempts  which 
issued  in  this  perfection  to  be  found  ?  N"o  such  have  been  dis- 
covered, either  at  Ghizeh  or  in  any  other  locality  in  Egypt, 
notwithstanding  that  no  work  of  man  perishes  there.  This 
circumstance  compels  us  to  assume  that  the  skill  of  these  primi- 
tive artists  of  Egjrpt  was  a  portion  of  that  civilization  which  its 
first  settlers  brought  with  them  when  they  located  themselves 
in  the  vaUey  of  the  Nile." 


Note  XII.     (Page  105.) 

(1)  Dr.  Daniel  G.  Brinton,  "  Essays  of  an  Americanist "  (p. 
439),  says:  "  I  do  not  know  of  any  measurements  undertaken 
in  Yucatan  to  ascertain  the  metrical  standard  employed  by  the 
ancient  architects.  It  is  true  that  Dr.  Augustus  Le  Plongeon 
asserts  positively  that  they  knew  and  used  the  metric  system, 
and  that  the  metre  and  its  divisions  are  the  only  dimensions 
that  can  be  applied  to  the  remains  of  the  edifices.  But  apart 
from  the  eccentricity  of  this  statement,  I  do  not  see  from  Dr. 
Le  Plongeon' s  own  measurements  that  the  metre  is  in  any  sense 
a  common  divisor  for  them." 

Abbe  Brasseur  is  now  dead — he  cannot,  therefore,  refute 
Dr.  Brinton's  imputations;  but  I  am  still  in  the  land  of 
the  living,  and  will  speak  for  the  learned  Abbe  and  for 

The  measurements  that  Dr.  Brinton  ignores  to  have  been 
undertaken  in  Yucatan,  I  have  made  most  carefully,  as  proved 
by  my  plans  of  the  buildings  and  my  restorations  of  the  same. 
The  exactness  of  these  surveys  can  be  vouched  for  by  the  offi- 
cers of  ray  escorts  in  the  ruined  cities,  they  having  helped  me 
in  that  work. 

Unlike  some  genuinely  good  things,  the  would-be  critic's 
memory  does  not  seem  to  improve  with  age.  It  is,  indeed,  a 
pity.  AVhen  he  Avrote  the  lines  just  quoted  he  surely  had  for- 
gotten that,  once  upon  a  time,  after  the  one  visit  with  Avhich 
he  has   ever  honored  me,  he   statetl  in  the  November  (1SS."S) 


number  of  the  American  Antiquarian  (page  378),  under  the 
heading  "  The  Art  of  Ancient  Yucatan:  " 

"I  recently  passed  an  evening  with  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Le  Plongeon,  who, 
after  twelve  years  spent  in  exploring  the  ruined  cities  of  Yucatan,  and 
studying  the  ancient  and  modern  Maya  language  and  character,  are  pass- 
ing a  few  months  in  this  country.  The  evening  was  passed  in  looking  at 
photographs  of  the  remains  of  architectural  and  plastic  art,  in  examining 
tracings  and  squeezes  from  the  walls  of  the  buildings,  in  studying  the  accu- 
rate plans  and  measurements  made  by  the  doctor  and  his  wife  of  those  struc- 
tures, in  reviewing  a  small  but  exceedingly  choice  collection  of  relics,  and 
in  listening  to  the  doctor's  explanation  of  the  Maya  hieroglyphic  system. 
Whatever  opinion  one  may  entertain  of  the  analogies  the  doctor  thinks  he  has 
discovered  hetween  Maya  culture  and  language  and  those  of  Asia  and  Africa, 
no  one  who,  as  I  had  the  privilege  of  doing,  goes  over  the  actual  product 
of  his  labors  and  those  of  his  accomplished  wife,  can  doubt  the  magnitude 
of  his  discoveries  and  the  new  and  valuable  liglit  they  tlirow  upon  ancient 
Maya  civilization.  They  correct,  in  various  instances,  the  hasty  deduc- 
tions of  Charnay,  and  they  prove  that  buried  under  the  tropical  growth  of 
tlie  Yucatan  forests  still  remain  monuments  of  art  that  would  surprise  the 
world  were  they  exhumed  and  rendered  accessible  to  students."     .     . 

Compare  this  with  his  other  statement.  It  would  indeed 
be  most  interesting  to  know  if  it  was  envy  or  charity  that  thus 
caused  him  to  alter  his  mind.  He  has  never  visited  the  ruined 
cities  of  Yucatan,  unless  it  be  in  imagination.  He  has,  there- 
fore, never  made  measurements  of  the  buildings  erected  by 
the  Mayas.  How,  then,  can  he  know,  of  his  own  knowledge, 
which  of  our  modern  standards  of  lineal  measures  applies  to 
them  exactly  ?  This,  however,  I  do  know,  not  from  hearsay, 
but  from  actual  experience,  that  the  metre  is  the  only  measure 
which,  when  applied  to  said  buildings,  leaves  no  fraction. 
How,  then,  does  he,  a  mere  closet  archceologist,  dare  impute  to 
eccentricity  my  statement  to  the  ' '  American  Antiquarian 
Society  of  "Worcester,"  made  first  in  June,  1878,  and  reiterated 
in  1881,  which  reads:  "I  have  adopted  the  metric  standard 
of  lineal  measure,  not  from  choice,  but  from  necessity,  and 

2^)4  APPENDIX. 

made  the  strange  discovery  that  the  metre  is  the  only  measure 
of  dimension  which  agrees  with  that  adopted  by  these  most 
ancient  artists  and  architects;  another  very  striking  point  of 
contact  with  the  Chaldean  priests,  the  Magi"?  In  August, 
1893,  in  the  'New  York  Advertiser,  I  publicly  challenged  Dr. 
Brinton  to  a  conference  before  any  scientific  society  of  his 
own  choice,  to  show  what  he  really  knew  about  the  Mayas, 
their  language,  manners,  customs,  and  history.  He  prudently 
took  no  notice  of  my  challenge.  But,  being  as  desirous  to 
defend  my  reputation  in  my  chosen  field  of  study  as  he  is 
to  shield  his,  I  seized  the  opportunity  offered  by  the  mem- 
bers of  the  American  Association  for  the  Advancement  of 
Science  holding  their  annual  meetings,  under  his  presidency,  a 
few  steps  from  my  residence  in  the  city  of  Brooklyn,  to  send 
him  this  second  challenge,  a  copy  of  which  was  placed  in  his 
hand  on  August  20th,  while  he  was  standing  with  other  mem- 
bers of  the  association  in  the  reception  room  of  the  Polytech- 
nic Institute: 



The  BagU  has  received  the  following  : 

Di:  Daniel  G.   Brinton,  President  of  the 

American  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science. 
Sir  :  Do  you  remember  that  in  1887,  when  the  American  Association 
for  the  Advancement  of  Science  met  in  New  York  at  Columbia  College,  by 
direction  of  Professor  Putnam,  I  wrote  to  you  from  this  city,  inq\iiriug  if  I 
might  be  permitted  to  read  a  paper  on  "Ancient  American  Civilization  " 
before  the  archieological  department  of  said  association,  you  being  then  the 
President  of  said  section  ?  Do  you  remember  also  that  I  did  not  receive 
until  tliree  weeks  after  the  closing  of  the  sessions  of  said  association  the 
answer  to  my  letter,  it  having  somehoio  been  sent  to  San  Francisco,  Cat., 
instead  of  Brooklyn,  L.  I.  ?  It  is  to  avoid  another  such  clerical  mistake 
that  I  now  take  this  mode  of  reaching  the  association  and  yourself. 


You  are  well  aware  that  during  the  last  quarter  of  a  century,  partic- 
ularly, liumau  knowledge  has  made  great  progress  in  all  branches  of  science 
except  that  of  American  archaeology,  which  is  not  now  mucli  more  advanced 
than  it  was  a  century  ago.  You  also  feel,  if  you  do  not  admit  it,  that  all 
that  has  been  written  on  that  subject  in  Europe  and  America  does  not  pass 
from  mere  speculation  on  the  part  of  the  writers,  and  is  therefore,  scientifi- 
cally and  historically  speaking,  scarcely  worth  the  paper  on  which  said 
speculations  and  theories  are  printed ;  that  none  of  the  pretended  authori- 
ties on  the  subject  can  read  a  single  sentence  of  the  Maya  books  and  mural 
inscriptions;  that  they  therefore  know  nothing  about  the  ancient  Mayas, 
their  culture  and  scientific  attainments,  although  some  of  said  writers  pre- 
sume to  pronounce  magisterially  on  these  subjects.  You  pose  as,  and  are 
therefore  considered,  the  authority  in  the  United  States  on  all  questions 
pertaining  to  the  ancient  Mayas ;  for  this  reason  I  address  myself  to  you, 
and  also  because  you  are  now  the  president  of  the  American  Association 
for  the  Advancement  of  Science,  whose  members  should  be  proud  to  help 
in  shedding  light  on  the  ancient  civilization  of  the  continent  on  which 
they  live. 

In  your  book,  "Essays  of  an  Americanist"  (p.  439),  you  aver  that  my 
asserting  that  the  ancient  Maya  standard  of  lineal  measures  was  the  metre, 
or  be  it  the  ten  millionth  part  of  the  quarter  of  the  meridian,  is  one  of  my 
eccentricities,  but  give  no  reasons  for  so  attacking  my  statement.  A  year 
ago,  through  the  columns  of  the  New  York  Advertiser,  n  copy  of  which  I 
mailed  to  your  address,  I  sent  you  an  invitation  to  prove  your  averment 
before  any  scientific  society  of  your  own  choosing,  provided  the  meeting 
were  public. 

Thei'e  can  be  no  better  opportunity  than  the  present,  no  better  qualified 
audience  than  the  scientists  now  assembled  under  your  presidency,  for  pass- 
ing judgment  on  all  such  questions. 

Will  you,  then,  appoint  a  day,  at  your  own  convenience,  to  meet  me 
before  the  members  of  the  association  and  discuss  all  points  treated  by  ytm 
in  your  book  above  mentioned  ?  1.  Maj'a  phonetics.  2.  What  were  the 
true  signs  used  by  ancient  Mayas  for  the  cardinal  points  ?  3.  Landa  alpha- 
bet and  Maya  prophecies.  4.  Maya  standard  of  measures.  And,  besides, 
the  following  :  (1)  Maya  science  of  numbers  ;  (2)  Maya  cosmogony  ;  (3) 
Maya  knowledge  of  geography,  geology;  and,  if  you  please  (4),  Maya 
language  and  its  universal  spread  among  all  ancient  civilized  nations  of 
anj;iquity  in  Asia,  Africa,  and  Europe. 

All  said  discussion  to  rest  altogether  on  hard  facts,  scientific  or  his- 
torical, not  on  mere  conjectures  or  suppositions,  so  as  to  be  of  real  value  to 
the  scientific  world,  and  thus  give  ancient  America  its  proper  place  in  the 
universal  history  of  the  world.     Of  course,  the  four  hundred  photographic 


slides  made  by  me  from  photos  also  taken  by  me  in  situ  I  most  willingly 

place  at  your  disposal  to  sustain  your  part  of  the  discussion,  which  I  doubt 

not  you  will  readily  accept  to  redeem  your  written  promise,  made  to  me  as 

far  back  as  1885,  as  I  intend  using  them  to  demonstrate  my  side  of  the 

case.     Hoping,  sir,  that  you  will  gladly  improve  the  opportunity  to  show 

that  you  are  really  an  authority,  with  right  therefore  to  criticise  others  on 

such  an  important  subject,  to  all  American  scientists,  and  aflEord  me  one  for 

displaying  my  extravagancies  or  eccentricities  before  the  membei-s  of  the 

American  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science,  I  beg  to  subscribe 


Yours  most  respectfully, 

Augustus  Le  Plongeon. 

18  Sidney  Place,  August  18,  1894.' 

Dr.  Brinton  took  no  more  notice  of  this  challenge  than  he 
had  taken  of  the  former  one,  published  in  August,  1893,  in  the 
New  York  Advertiser. 


Is  it  that  he  regards  me,  claiming  no  title  of  professor  in 
any  university,  nor  even  that  of  member  of  any  scientific  soci- 
ety, as  an  adversary  unworthy  of  him,  whose  defeat  would 
bring  him  neither  fame  nor  honor?  Or  is  it  on  prudential 
grounds?  Does  he  fear  lest  his  ignorance  of  a  subject  on 
which  he  claims  to  be  an  authority  should  be  made  mani- 
fest, and  his  reputation  as  a  learned  archaeologist  be  lost 
forever?  Since  he  has  refused  to  give  me  the  opportunity 
to  defend  myself  against  his  unwarranted  aspersion,  I  will 
say  here  what  I  would  have  said  to  him  personally  before 
the  members  of  the  A.  A.  A.  S.  had  he  accepted  my  chal- 

The  learned  Professor  of  American  Archteology  and  Lin- 
guistics of  tlie  University  of  Pennsylvania  seems  to  be  ignorant 
of  tiie  fact  that  the  Chaldeans,  who,  M^e  have  shown,  were  in 

'  Brooklyn  Eagle,  edition  of  August  19,  1894. 


their  origin  a  Maya  colony,  also  used  the  metre  as  their 
standard  of  lineal  measures.  Will  he  likewise  accuse  Ernest 
Renan,  the  late  famous  French  scientist  and  professor  in  the 
College  de  France,  of  eccentricity,  because  on  pages  60  and  61 
of  his  "  Histoire  Generale  des  langues  Semitiques,"  he  says: 
"  Le  caractere  grandiose  des  constructions  Bahyloniennes  et 
JVinivites,  le  developpement  scientifique  de  la  Ghaldee,  les  rap- 
ports incontestdbles  de  la  civilisation  Assyrienne  amec  celle  de 
VEgypte,  auraient  leur  cause  dans  cette  premiere  assise  de 
peuples  materialistes,  constructeurs,  auxquels  le  monde  entier 
doit  avec  le  systeme  meteique  les  plus  anciennes  connaissances 
qui  tiennent  d  V astronomie,  aux  mathematiques  et  d  Vindus- 
trie.  ' ' 

ISTo  doubt  the  Professor  of  Archeology  of  the  Pennsylvania 
University  will  also  accuse  the  learned  English  astronomer 
John  "Wilson  of  downright  lunacy  for  stating  in  his  work, 
"  The  Lost  Solar  System  of  the  Ancients  Discovered  " :  ^ 

"The  adaptation  of  the  Babylonian  standard,  based  on  a 
knowledge  of  the  earth's  circumference,  to  the  monumental 
records  of  science  prove  that  the  Druids  of  Britain,  the  Persian 
Magi,  the  Brahmins  of  India,  the  Chaldees  of  Babylonia,  the 
Egyptian  hierarchy,  the  priests  of  Mexico  and  Peru,  were  all 
acquainted,  as  Caesar  says  of  the  Druids,  with  the  form  and 
magnitude  of  the  earth;  or,  as  Pomponius  Mela  states,  with 
the  form  and  magnitude  of  the  earth  and  motion  of  the 

"  Hence  it  is  evident  that  the  world  had  been  circumnavi- 
gated at  an  unknoAvn  epoch,  and  colonies  formed  in  the  old  and 
new  world,  aU  making  use  of  the  same  standard  in  the  con- 

'  Jolm  Wilson,  The  Lost  Solar  System  of  the  Ancients  Discovered,  vol.  ii., 
p.  336. 


struction  of  their  religious  monuments.     So  the  Babylonian  or 
Sabffian  standard  may  be  said  to  have  been  universal. 

"  The  measurement  of  the  earth's  circumference  made  at 
a  very  remote  period  by  an  unknown  race,  who  constructed 
the  great  teocalli  of  Xochicalco,  accords  with  the  measurement 
lately  made  by  the  French,  if  the  circumference  of  the  fort 
equals  four  thousand  metres."  ' 

' '  The  wandering  Masons,  who  have  left  traces  of  their 
monuments  in  the  four  quarters  of  the  world,  wiU  be  found  to 
have  traversed  the  great  Pacific  Ocean,  made  the  circuit  of  the 
globe,  and  measured  its  circumference."^ 

"The  Burmese  hyperbolic  temples,  like  the  Egyptian  and 
Mexican  pyramidal   temples,   were  most  probably  originally 
dedicated  to  the  worship  of   the  heavenly  bodies. 
The  Sabseans  regarded  the  pyramidal  and  hyperbolic  temples 
and  the  obelisks  as  the  symbols  of  divinity."  ' 

"  Religious  zeal,  so  strongly  characteristic  of  the  doctrines 
promulgated  in  the  systems  of  India  and  Egypt,  was  the  means 
of  furthering  in  those  regions  the  extension  of  geographical 
knowledge  at  an  epoch  long  anterior  to  the  date  of  Christian- 
ity. This  is  evident  from  the  still  existing  monumental  records 
left  by  these  early  missionaries  of  religion  and  civilization,  the 
founders  of  settlements  in  both  hemispheres."'' 

"  The  ancient  missionaries  of  religion  and  civilization 
planted  the  Babylonian  standard  with  their  pyramids  and  tem- 
ples in  all  parts  of  the  globe.  It  is  only  by  these  silent  mon- 
uments that  the  ancient  missions  have  been  traced,  after  the 

'  Johu  Wilson,  The  Lost  Solar  System  of  the  Ancients  Discovei'ed,  vol.  i., 
p.  381. 

''Ibid.,  vol.  ii.,  p.  233. 
'Had.,  vol.  i.,  p.  247. 
'  Ibid.,  vol.  ii.,  p.  339. 


lapse  of  ages,  when  all  other  records  of  their  science  and  his- 
tory had  perished."  ^ 

"The  Babylonian  standard  of  these  missions  has  been 
traced  through  Asia,  Egypt,  Phoenicia,  and  along  the  Mediter- 
ranean coasts. ' '  ^ 

Will  the  learned  Piazzi  Smyth  be  also  accused  of  oddity  by 
the  hypercritical  Dr.  Brinton  because  he  asserts  that  the  build- 
ers of  the  great  Egj^ptian  pyramid  used  as  a  standard  of 
measures,  at  least  in  the  king's  chamber — the  most  recondite, 
mysterious,  and,  no  doubt,  sacred  spot  of  the  stupendous  edi- 
fice— the  one  ten-millionth  part  of  the  earth's  axis  of  rotation, 
instead  of  the  one  ten-millionth  part  of  the  quadrant  of  a 
great  circle  passing  through  the  poles,  as  did  the  Chaldeans 
and  the  Mayas  ? 

This  selection  of  the  one  ten-millionth  part  of,  the  diameter 
on  the  one  hand,  and  the  one  ten-millionth  part  of  the  arc 
comprised  between  the  pole  and  the  equator  on  the  other, 
as  standard  of  lineal  measures,  proves  not  only  an  identity 
of  canons  in  the  astronomical  computations  of  the  Egyptians 
and  the  Chaldees,  but  that  they  had  ascertained  the  size  of 
the  earth;  and  that,  if  they  did  not  borrow  this  knowledge 
one  from  the  other,  they  had  learned  it  from  the  same 
masters,  as  Mr.  John  Wilson  asserts.  "Were  those  masters  the 
Mayas  ? 

Let  us  hear  what  Piazzi  Smyth  says  on  the  subject:  "  Hence 
all  that  we  can  declare  as  to  the  fact  is  that  near  the  interior  of 

'  John  Wilson,  The  Lost  Solar  System  of  the  Ancients  Discovered,  vol.  ii., 
p.  313. 

Their  language  has  also  remained.  It  has  been  our  guide  through  the 
present  volume.     (The  author.) 

^  John  Wilson,  The  Lost  Solar  System  of  the  Ancients  Discovered,  vol  ii., 
p.  239. 




a  building  whose  ancient  name,  it  is  said,  was  '  a  division  into 
ten,'  there  is  one  typifying,  or  rather  positively  illustrating,  a 
division  into  five. 

"The  coffer,  according  to  the  metrological  theory,  is 
founded  in  part  on  the  one  ten-millionth  of  the  earth's  axis 
of  rotation. 

"  This  is  something  suspicious  of  a  connection,  especially  if 
divided  by  the  pyramidal  ten,  but  not  enough;  and  on  looking 
round  the  room,  an  attentive  observer  may  soon  perceive  a 
more  striking  illustration  of  the  division  into  five,  in  that  the 
four  walls  of  the  room  have  each  four  horizontal  joint  lines, 
actually  dividing  the  wall's  whole  surface  into  five  horizontal 
stripes  or  courses." ' 

"Hence  the  chamber  is  constructed  coramensurably  to 
the  coffer,  and  the  coffer  to  the  chamber,  with  fifty  and  five  as 
the  ruling  numbers.  But  there  exists  even  more  testimony  of 
this  sort,  identifying  the  whole  pyramid  also  with  the  coffer 
and  its  chamber,  in  a  quarter,  too,  where  I  had  certainly  never 
expected  to  find  anything  of  the  kind  ;  viz.,  the  component 
course  of  masonry  of  the  entire  building."^ 

From  the  foregoing  observations  by  Mr.  Piazzi  Smyth,  it 
is  evident  that  the  Egyptians  made  use  of  a  decimal  system 
derived  from  their  knowledge  of  the  length  of  the  earth's 
diameter,  just  as  the  Mayas  did. 

Landa  tells  us  that,  in  archaic  ages,  before  the  occurrence 
of  the  event  ^  which  induced  them  to  alter  the  basis  of  their 
chronological  computations   and   adopt   as  such   the   number 

'  C.  Piazzi  Smyth,  Life  and  Work  at  the  Great  Pyramid,  vol.  iii.,  pp. 

=  Ibid.,  vol.  iii.,  p.  199. 

■'  Pio  Perez,  Cronologia  Antigua  de  Yucatan.  Apud  Landa,  L<ts  Cosas  de 
Yucatan,  p.  404.     Brasseur's  publicatiou. 


thirteen,  they  also  made  use  of  the  decimal  system.  "They 
counted  in  fives  and  twenties  up  to  one  hundred."  "  Qxoe  su 
cuenta  es  de  V  en  Y  hasta  XX,  y  de  XX  en  XX  hasia  (7. "  ' 

CogoUudo,  Lizana,  Torquemada,  in  fact,  the  majority  of  the 
chroniclers  who  have  written  on  the  manners  and  customs  of 
the  ancient  Mayas,  mention  this  mode  of  computation  by 
them  until  that  by  thirteenths  was  adopted.  Of  all  these 
writers  Landa  alone  hints  at  the  cause  of  this  change. 

Many  a  long  and  senseless  discussion,  fuU  of  profound 
learning,  has  been  indulged  in;  many  an  eloquently  written 
dissertation,  replete  with  more  or  less  specious  reasons  to  show 
why  the  wise  men  of  Mayacli  adopted  the  number  thirteen  as 
a  basis  for  their  computations,  has  been  published  by  erudite 
professors,  each  advocating  his  private  opinion  with  as  much 
ardor  as  uselessness.  And  the  conclusion?  The  same,  of 
course,  as  that  reached  by  that  "  scientific  society  on  the  Stan- 
islaus," whose  debate  on  a  certain  jaAV-bone,  whether  it  was 
that  of  a  mule  or  that  of  an  ass,  Bret  Harte  has  recounted. 
All  because  they  never  read  the  book  of  Landa,  or  they  dis- 
dain to  believe  the  relation  of  a  man  who  was  in  an  exceptional 
position  to  learn  much  concerning  the  native  traditions. 

We  need  not  rely  altogether  on  Landa's  testimony  regard- 
ing the  use  of  a  decimal  system  by  the  Mayas.  We  find 
abundant  proofs  in  the  ruins  of  their  temples  and  palaces. 

Had  the  learned  Professor  of  American  Archaeology  of  the 
Pennsylvania  University  been  less  grossly  ignorant  of  all  things 
relating  to  the  Mayas,  their  religious  and  cosmogonic  notions, 
their  scientific  attainments,  the  meaning  of  their  architecture, 
and  their  language,  he  certainly  would  not  have  indited  such 
a  paper  as  his  "Maya  Measures,"  nor  attributed  to  eccentri- 
'  Landa,  Las  Oosas  de  Yucatan,  chap,  xxxiv.,  p.  206. 



city  my  statement  that  they  made  use  of  the  metre  as  a 
standard  of  lineal  measures. 

As  to  his  emphatic  assertion  that  he  "does  not  see  from 
my  own  measurements  that  the  metre  is  in  any  sense  a  com- 
mon divisor  for  them,"  this  is  not  in  the  least  surprising.  He 
has  never  personally  measured  the  Maya  constructions;  he  has 


Dlltonep  bctwaeii  C?nt*>-|  CC  of  Columiu  TM' 
Ar<  AC  oFSacli  nation,  i  di*1iii»«MiMn>  <#nt#na)nluinn* 
Sine  BJ of  Untitle. lkotCircwilfmi(FtK*XpMJ*itln»^(inlmC£ 
Ui«m.hrFC  of  Column.  .iS  flroiTiWnrt  1W  (.«"ntliiW|3t.&nInlCf 

b™.  Al  .fD..l™ti".     ' 

Dumeler  of  CoUimnsor  45^  Latiludv  of  MAyApan  20*56'. 

V«r««d'Snt<  CI  ofDeelifiJion.  ♦  DUmoter  of  Column*, 
V.n>d-&~JCoIULIodr.t  Diimto  F6  of  tolmnn. . 
Sin>AKofj1ii£l<A0I>.^  diitanco  tHwcm  C*nUrs  CC 
ft^f  CiTcunfo™™,  dul  |.»»ie»    IKrougl.  Ce«I."CC 

Lfnolh  of  l....of  P,™,-.!d   N<»O...J.  11-50- 
"  E.jt.iJ-£- 

never  had  access  to  my  field  notes,  or  any  of  the  restorations 
of  the  buildings  made  by  me  from  said  notes  and  from  the 
photographs  of  said  edifices  made  by  me  in  situ.  He  has  only 
loolced  superficially  at  the  few  plans  in  my  possession  when  he 
honored  me  with  his  visit ;  these  did  not  seem  to  interest  him. 
The  only  example  of  the  use  of  the  metre  by  Maya  astron- 


omers,  architects,  and  mathematicians,  ever  published  from 
manuscripts  written  by  me,  is  the  protraction  of  a  gnomon 
which  I  discovered  in  the  ruined  city  of  Mayapan,  situated 
on  the  lands  of  the  hacienda  X-Canchakan,  distant  thirty 
miles  from  Merida,  the  capital  of  Yucatan.  This  protraction 
forms  part  of  one  of  my  reports  to  the  "  American  Antiqua- 
rian Society,"  of  "Worcester,  Mass.     (See  illustration,  p.  212.) 

It  is  not  the  result  of  intricate  calculations  wherein  errors 
may  creep.  It  is  a  simple  drawing  constructed  from  measure- 
ments made  by  me  in  situ.  These  must,  by  force,  have  been 
very  accurate,  or  the  various  parts  of  the  drawing  would  not 
fit  exactly  in  their  proper  places.  Such  protraction  should 
therefore  •  settle  all  doubts  regarding  the  true  standard  of 
lineal  measures  used  by  the  Mayas,  in  very  remote  times,  and 
even  after  the  destruction  of  the  Land  of  M^i  by  earthquakes 
and  submergence. 

This  report  was  published  in  the  proceedings  of  said  society 
under  the  title  of  "Mayapan  and  Maya  Inscriptions."  It 
contains  various  typographical  errors.  The  proof-sheets  were 
not  submitted  to  me  before  being  sent  to  press  (I  was  then  in 
the  forests  of  Yucatan).  Therefore  I  could  not  correct  them. 
There  is,  however,  one  mistake  which  is  due  to  a  lapsus  calami 
on  my  part.  How  did  it  occur  ?  It  was  one  of  those  inex- 
plicable oversights  that  frequently  take  place  in  making  com- 
putations; perhaps  a  temporary  systematic  anaesthesia  pro- 
duced by  the  concentration  of  the  mind  on  a  single  point  when 
passing  over  a  number  of  figures  in  calculation.  At  any  rate, 
there  is  no  mistake  in  the  drawing,  which  is  perfect,  and  in 
accordance  with  the  measurements  made  of  the  gnomon  itself. 

The  diameter  of  the  columns  is  0.45  metre.  The  distance 
between  their  centres  is  1.90  metres.      In  my  manuscript,  it 


seems,  I  wrote  1.70  metres,  or  I  made  the  9  and  7  so  as  to  mis- 
lead the  printer;  and  therein  consists  the  grave  error  that  has 
given  ground  for  Dr.  Brinton's  criticism  of  all  my  measure- 
ments. Had  he  not  been  looking  for  an  excuse  to  impugn  the 
conscientious  work  of  an  original  explorer,  thereby  seeking  his 
own  aggrandizement,  he  could  have  seen  that  the  error  was 
merely  typographical;  and  that  my  statement  "that  the 
Mayas,  like  the  Chaldees,  did  certainly  use  the  metre  as  a 
standard  of  lineal  measures,"  was  not  eccentricity,  iut  positive 


Note  XIII.     (Page  111.) 

(1)  It  may  be  asked,  How  is  it  that  the  Mayas  came  to 
adopt  the  one  ten-m.illionth  part  of  the  quadrant  of  the  great 
circle  that  passes  through  the  poles  of  the  earth,  as  standard  of 
lineal  measures  ? 

To  him  who  is  acquainted  with  the  "  Sacred  Mysteries  "  of 
the  ancient  Maya  adepts,  the  motive  is  indeed  very  evident. 
Like  the  ancient  Egyptians,  the  Mayas  of  old  were,  as  their 
descendants  are  to-day,  an  eminently  religious  people.  With 
them,  as,  in  fact,  with  every  civilized  nation,  their  cosmogonic 
notions  formed  the  base  of  their  religious  conceptions,  and 
both  were  embodied  in  their  sacred  edifices,  particularly  in 
their  pyramids,  symbols  of  God  in  the  universe. 

They  conceived  this  universe  to  be  an  infinite  boundless 
darkness,  in  which  dwelt  the  unknowable,  the  inscrutable 
Will,  TJol.  Having  come  to  the  knowledge  that,  by  first 
concentrating  their  thoughts,  and  then  sending  them  forth  in 
every  direction  to  the  utmost  limits  of  space,  these  formed,  as 
it  were,  radii  of  equal  length,  that  terminated  at  the  vault 
of  a  sphere  whose  limitation  was  a  great  circle  ;  having,  be- 
sides, discovered  that  the  circle  is,  in  nature,  the  ultimatum 
in  extension,  they  figured  that  Will,  that  Eternal  One 
Being,  as  a  circle,  Qj  which  they  also  called  Uol,  whose 
centre  was  everywhere  and  circumference  nowhere.  They 
imagined  this  Will  as  being  both  male  and  female — Andro- 
gynus — two  in  one  and  one  in  two.     In  it  life  pulsated  uncon- 


scious.  At  the  awakening  of  consciousness,  when  the  Infinite 
Sexless  ceased  to  be  sexless,  the  male  principle,  remaining  stiU 
distinct,  fructified  the  immaculate  virgin  womb  of  nature,  that 
cosmic  egg  that  we  see  pictured  in  the  tableau  of  creation  at 

This  new  manifestation  of  the  Boundless  /T~s.  One  they 
figured  as  a  circle  with  its  vertical  diameter,  f  j  and  called 

it  Liahun,  the  " aU-pervading  one,"  from  VXx  L,ali,  "he 
who  is  everywhere, ' '  and  hun,  ' '  one. ' '  It  became  the  Decade, 
image  of  the  universe  evolving  from  the  boundless  darkness, 
the  number  lO,  the  most  mystic  among  the  initiates  of  aU 
nations,  formed  of  the  triad  and  the  septenary;  the  most  bind- 
ing oath  of  the  Pythagoreans.  From  this  vertical  diameter, 
sjonbol  of  the  male  principle  impregnating  the  virgin  womb 
of  nature,  originated  the  idea  of  the  Phallus  as  emblem  of 
the  Creator,  whose  Avorship  under  this  image  we  find  among 
all  civilized  nations  of  antiquity  from  the  remotest  ages. 

The  circle  divided  into  four  parts,  by  its  vertical  and  hori- 
zontal diameters  crossing  each  other,  formed  the  tetraktis,^ 
"the  sacred  four,"  the  "builders,"  that  is,  the  Canob  of 
the  Mayas,  or  the  Tian-chihans  of  the  initiates  among 
them,  the  "heavenly  giants,"  the  same  called  by  the  Hindoo 
occultists  Dhyan-Chohans.  The  universe,  now  under  the 
regency  of  these  Four  powerful  intelligences,  they  figured  as  a 
circle  with  y'T"^  its  vertical  and  horizontal  diameters  crossing 

each  other,  h j,  thus  forming  the  mundane  cross,  and  to 

them  was  ^"^-^  intrusted  the  building  of  the  physical  world 
and  the  guardianship  of  the  cardinal  points.     To  distinguish 

'  Ubi  supra,  Plate  XXIII. 

"  This  sacred  square,  that  Pythagoras  taught  his  followers  was  Four  and 
their  oath,  was  a  sacred  number  with  the  initiates  in  India,  Egypt,  Chaldea, 
Greece,  and  other  countries,  as  well  as  with  the  Naacals  of  Mayach. 



them,  the  genii  of  the  north  and  of  the  south — that  is,  the 
keepers  of  the  male  principle  of  nature,  of  the  active  and 
fecundating  forces — were  figured  by  the  same  circle  with  its 
crossed  diameters,  to  which  wings  were  added.  This  we  learn 
from  the  inscriptions  that  adorn  the  facade  of  the  sanctuary 
at  Uxnial  (Plate  LXXI.)  and  from  the  Troano  and  other 
Maya  MSS. 

These  genii  of  the  cardinal  points,  these  four  creators,  are 
known  to  the  Hindoo  occultists  as  the  "Four  Maharajahs," 
or  "great  kings  "  of  theDhycm  Cholia/ns}  In  OcosiTigo,  Guate- 


mala,  as  also  in  Egypt,  we  see  them  portrayed  as  circles  with 


wings;  in  Assyria,  as  ferouhers.  They  became  the  amshaspands 
of  the  Mazdeans ;  the  Elohim  and  the  seraphs  of  the  Hebrews ; 
the  archangels  of  the  Chi-istians  and  Mohammedans ;  the  kabiri 
and  Titans  of  Hesiod's  theogony;  the  four  gods  whose  golden 

'  H.  P.  Blavatsky,  The  Sacred  Doctrine. 



statues,  Clement  of  Alexandria  tells  us,*  were  carried  by  the 
Egyptians  at  all  the  festivals  of  the  gods. 


These  "four  powerful  ones,"  these  "  Caiiobs,"  these 
heavenly  architects,  emanated  from  the  "  Great  Infinite 
One,  "  evolved  the  material  universe  from  chaos.  The  Blaya 
occultists  figured  this  manifested  universe  by 
inscribing  a  square  within  a  circle;  that  is,  by 
joining  the  ends  of  the  vertical  and  horizontal 
diameters.  s 

The  Pj'^thagoreans  honored  numbers  and  geometrical  de- 
signs with  the  names  of  the  gods.^  The  Egyptians  called  the 
monad  "Intellect,"^  male  and  female,  "god,"  "chaos," 
"  darkness." 

'  Clement  of  Alexandria,  Stromat,  v.,  p.  242. 

'  Plutarch,  De  hide,  s.  76. 

'  Macrobiua,  Somnium  Scipionis,  c.  6. 

Page  218. 

Plate  LXXI. 


Damascius  in  his  treatise  "IIspiApxior  "  says:  "  The  Egyp- 
tians asserted  nothing  of  the  First  Principle  of  things,  but  cele- 
brated it  as  a  thrice  unknown  darkness  transcending  all  intel- 
lectual perception. "  According  to  Servius,  "  they  assigned  the 
perfect  number  three  to  the  Great  God. ' '  Tetraktis  was  the 
mystic  name  of  the  Creative  Power,  and  three  was  looked  upon 
as  embracing  all  human  things.  "  Know  God,"  says  Pythag- 
oras, "who  is  number  and  harmony.  Number  is  the  father 
of  the  gods  and  men."  Pythagoras  borrowed  his  knowledge 
of  numbers  and  their  meanings  from  the  Egyptians.  These 
received  their  science  from  the  Mayas,  those  civilized  stran- 
gers, their  ancestors,  who  in  remote  ages,  coming  from  the 
East  and  from  the  "West,  had  settled  and  brought  civilization 
to  the  banks  of  the  Nile.  Such  being  the  case,  it  is  but  nat- 
ural that  we  should  find  the  same  doctrine  regarding  cosmog- 
ony and  the  meaning  of  numbers  in  Mayacli,  their  mother 
country  in  the  "  Lands  of  the  "West." 

Pythagoras 's  teachings  were  that  the  rectangular  triangle 
which  Plato  called  the  mystic  diagram,  its  height  being  repre- 
sented by  3,  its  base  by  4,  and  its  hypothenuse  by  5,  was  the 
most  perfect  image  of  the  "Infinite  Spirit  in  the  Universe," 
because  3,  composed  of  1  +  1  -f-  1,  stood  for  the  male  principle; 
4,  the  square  of  2,  for  the  female ;  and  5,  proceeding  from  both 
2  and  3,  the  universe,  and  so  was  counted  Penta  in  the  general 

The  Mayas  called  the  first  centenary  (100,  the  square  of 
10)  the  number  representing  the  "Infinite  One  about  to 
Manifest,"  Hokal,  and  placed  it  in  their  diagram  at  the 
upper  end  of  the  vertical  diameter. 

The  second  centenary  (200)  they  said  was  "  the  Infi- 
nite STILL   WHOLLY    ENCLOSED,"    Laluiiikal   (that  is,   Lah, 


"  wholly;  "  hun,  "  one;  "  kal,  "  enclosed  "),  and  placed  it  at 
the  right  hand  end  of  the  horizontal  diameter. 

The  third  centenary  (300)  they  held  to  be  \he  piercing  of  the 
closed  virgin  womh,  Holhukal  (that  is,  Hoi,  "to  pierce;" 
hu,  "virgin  womb,"  and  kal,  "closed"),  and  placed  it  at 
the  lower  end  of  the  vertical  diameter  that  forms  the  height 
of  the  four  rectangular  triangles  which  compose  the  square, 
and  therefore  stands  for  the  male  principle  in  Plato's  mystic 

Out  of  this  notion  came  the  doctrine  so  general  in  the 
theogonies  of  all  civilized  nations  of  antiquity,  of  an  immacu- 
late virgin  conceiving  and  giving  hirth  to  a  god. 

The  fourth  centenary  (400)  the  Mayas  caEed  Hiinbak, 
the  one  male  organ  of  generation,  and  placed  it  at  the  left  end 
of  the  horizontal  diameter ;  that  is,  the  base  of  the  rectangular 
triangles  composing  the  square,  corresponding  therefore  to  the 
female  principle  of  Plato's  mystic  diagram. 

The  hypothenuses,  standing  for  number  five  and  the  uni- 
verse in  said  diagram,  form  the  sides  of  the  square  inscribed 
in  the  circumference.  Their  numerical  aggregated  value  is 
twenty,  which  the  Maya  sages  called  kal,  or  that  which 
closes  and  completes  the  square. 

Thus  we  come  to  know  that  the  identical  doctrine  resrard- 
ing  the  esoteric  meaning  of  numbers  which  existed  in  India, 
Chaldea,  Egypt,  and  Greece  was  likewise  taught  to  the  initi- 
ates in  the  temples  of  Mayacli,  and  why,  in  their  numer- 
ical computations,  the  3Iaya  sages  counted  in  fives  up  to 
twenty,  and  by  twenties  to  one  hundred,  thus  making  use  of 
what  we  moderns  call  the  decimal  system. 

They  refrained  from  counting  by  tens  for  the  same  reason 
that  we  forbear  to  habitually  utter  the  name  of  God  ;  number 


lO,  Lahun,  representing  to  their  mind  the  "  Spirit  of  the 
Universe,"  the  "Boundless,"  the  "Infinite  One,"  Ku, 
whose  name  was  too  sacred  to  be  pronounced  except  with  the 
utmost  reverence. 

Is  it  mere  coincidence  that  in  all  countries  where  vestiges 
of  Maya  civilization  can  be  traced,  there  also  we  find  that 
among  the  occultists  and  initiates  into  the  sacred  mysteries 
number  ten  stood  for  the  name  of  God  ? 

Even  for  the  Hebrew  cabalists,  who  no  doubt  learned  the 
doctrine  from  the  philosophers  of  the  school  of  Alexandria, 
number  ten  was  represented  b}^  the  letter  J  or  /,  Jod, 
signature  of  the  name  of  Jehovah,  by  whom  all  things  were 
created;  Jah  (Jehovah)  being  a  name  composed  of  the  two 
letters  t/and  H,  that  is,  10  and  5,  or  "  God  and  the  universe." 
The  ten  Sejjhiroth,  or  numbers,  Avere  regarded  by  them  as 
emanations  of  the  Divine  Intelligence,  that,  according  to  the 
book  of  light,  the  Sohar,  combined  to  form  the  Heavenly  Man, 
of  whom  man  on  earth  is  an  image.' 

As  we  count  by  thousands,  saying  "  one  thousand,  two  thou- 
sand, three  thousand,"  etc.,  the  Mayas,  for  sacred  reasons, 
counted  by  "  four  hundreds. "  Thus  they  said  "  one  four  hun- 
dred, two  four  hundred,  three  four  hundred,"  etc. 

It  may  interest  my  readers,  particularly  those  who  have 
made  a  study  of  occultism,  to  know  the  esoteric  meaning  of 
the  names  of  the  cardinal  numbers  as  taught  by  the  ancient 
Maya  adepts,  the  Naacals,  to  those  they  initiated  into  the 
mysteries  of  cosmogony. 

In  my  rendering  of  the  Maya  names  I  have  adhered  to 
their  original  purport  as  closely  as  the  genius  of  the  English 

'  Moses  de  Leoa,  Booh  of  Sohar,  ii.  70  5  ;  i.  30  a. 




















language  permits.     The  correctness  of  my  translation  may  be 
easily  verified  by  consulting  Maya  vocabularies.^ 

one;  Hunab,  the  universal, 

is  (call), 

who,  by  his  inherent  power,  caused 
wisdom,  the  word,  the  Logos,^ 
to  come ; 

to  disentangle  things; 
to  1)6  his  associate  (uk,  companion) ; 
to  make  tJiem^  stand  erect 
and  send  them  revolving  on  themselves. 
10     Lahun    He  is  all  in  one  (Liali,  all;  liun,  one). 

The  fact  that  the  Mayas  alone,  among  all  civilized 
nations  of  antiquity,  and  even  of  modern  times,  epitomized  in 
the  names  of  the  cardinal  numbers  their  system  of  cosmogony, 
would  tend  to  prove  that  they  were  the  originators  of  it. 
This  identical  system  having  been  adopted  in  all  countries 
where  traces  of  their  name  is  found,  would  show  that,  at  some 
time  or  other,  they  carried  it  to  said  countries;  and  its  adop- 
tion, without  any  material  change,  by  the  priesthood  of  these 

'  Tlieie  is  a  very  complete  ancient  Maya  dictionary  MS.  in  tlie  Brown 
Library  in  Providence,  R.  I.  It  was  the  property  of  Abbe  Brasseur,  who 
used  it  extensively  in  forming  his  own  vocabulary — Maya  and  French, 
lie  allowed  Dr.  Carl  Berendt  to  make  a  copy  of  it.  This  copy  is  now  in 
possession  of  Dr.  Brinton,  who  refers  to  it  as  "the  Motul  dictionary."  I 
made  a  partial  copy  of  it  in  1884,  when  it  was  intrusted  to  me  for  that 
purpose  by  my  friend  the  late  Mr.  Bartlett,  then  librarian  of  Brown's 

"  Are  we  to  see  here  the  origin  of  the  idea  of  the  serpent  being  regarded 
as  the  wisest  of  all  animals  (Genesis,  cliap.  iii.,  verse  11),  and  therefore  of 
its  being  used  as  symbol  of  the  Creator  by  all  civilized  nations  of  antiquity  ? 
Can,  in  Maya,  is  the  generic  word  for  ''serpent." 

Page  SSS. 

Plate  LXIX. 

Plate  LXX. 


different  countries,  would  establish  the  inference  that  they  were 
held  by  all  as  the  most  learned  and  civilized  people  of  those 

It  is  admitted  as  proved  beyond  controversy  that  the  Ar- 
yans, the  Hindoos,  the  Chaldees,  the  Greeks,  in  fact,  every 
nation  regarded  as  civilized  from  which  we  have  received  our 
knowledge  of  numbers,  began  their  system  of  numeration  by 
counting  the  fingers  of  their  hands,  and  named  each  number 
accordingly.  The  Egyptians  seem  to  have  formed  an  excep- 
tion. Bunsen  has  showed  conclusively  that  their  names  for  the 
cardinal  numbers  had  no  relation  to  each  other,  and  the  few 
whose  etymon  is  suspected  do  not  have  reference  to  their 
notions  of  the  cosmic  evolution.  It  is,  however,  probable  that 
they  also  took  the  five  fingers  of  the  hand  as  starting  point  for 
their  numeration,  since  Tu  or  SB,  name  of  the  numerical  five, 
is  regarded  as  an  original  form  of  TT ox  Tot,  the  "  hand."  ^ 

It  now  remains  to  explain  why  the  Mayas  adopted  the 
metre  as  standard  of  lineal  measures. 

That  they  were  acquainted  with  exact  sciences  there  can 
be  no  doubt.  They  were  mathematicians,  astronomers,  archi- 
tects, navigators,  geographers,  etc.  As  well  as  the  art  thej^ 
possessed  the  science  of  navigation,  since  they  knew  how  to 
calculate  longitudes  and  latitudes,  as  proved  by  the  construc- 
tion of  the  gnomon  discovered  by  me  at  Mayapan.  They 
were,  therefore,  familiar  with  plane  aud  spherical  trigonome- 
try. They  had  computed  the  size  of  the  earth,  estimated  the 
distance  from  pole  to  pole,  calculated  the  length  of  the  merid- 
ian. I  have  already  mentioned  tlie  fact  that  in  the  construc- 
tion of  their  sacred  buildings  they  invariably  embodied  their 
cosmogonic   and  religious   conceptions,   particularly    in   their 

'  Bunsen,  EgypVs  Place  in  the  Universal  History,  vol.  iv.,  pp.  105-106. 


pyramids.  The  several  parts  of  these  edifices  were  so  arranged 
and  proportioned  as  to  agree  with  the  ratio  of  the  diameter  to 
the  circumference,  tt  =  3.1415;  the  sum  total  of  which,  2x7, 
was  a  numerical  that,  to  the  Maya  initiates,  as  to  all  the  occult- 
ists in  other  parts  of  the  world,  represented  the  "circum- 
scribed world,"  the  earth. 

The  vertical  section  of  the  plans  of  these  sacred  buildings 
was  always  inscribed  in  a  half  circumference  having  a  radius 
of  21  =  3  X  7  metres,  whose  diameter  formed  the  ground  line. 
Esoterically  these  buildings  figured  the  earth;  their  height 
stood  for  the  gods  of  the  earth,  represented  numerically  by 
number  1,065  =  21,  number  of  the  creators  or  jyrajapdtis,  ac- 
cording to  the  "  Mahabharata;  "  and  that  of  the  rays  on  each 
side  of  the  cosmic  egg  in  the  creation  tableau  at  CMcllen.^ 
We  have  seen  that  it  is  likewise  the  numerical  value  of  the 
letters  composing  the  name  of  Jehovah.^  It  is  well  to  remark 
that  the  height  of  the  principal  pyramids  in  Yucatan  is  invari- 
ably twenty-one  metres.^ 

In  fixing  a  standard  of  lineal  measures  the  Maya  sages 
adopted  a  subdivision  of  the  circle  which  was  naturally  di^'ided 
into  four  hundred  parts,  in  accordance  with  their  cosmic  con- 
ceptions, whilst  the  Egyptians  selected  a  subdivision  of   the 

'  Ubi  supra,  p.  76,  illustration  xxiii. 

=  Ibid. 

'  Those  of  my  readers  who  are  desirous  to  know  why  the  Maya  archi- 
tects always  inscribed  the  vertical  section  of  the  plan  of  their  pyramids 
within  a  circumference,  I  beg  to  refer  to  the  work  of  my  friend  the  late 
J.  Ralston  Skinner  of  Cincinnati,  O.,  Source  of  Measures,  at  g  55,  "Effect 
of  Putting  a  Pyramid  in  a  Square  "  (p.  95),  and  to  I  83,  "Pyramid  Symbo- 
lization  "  (p.  159),  published  by  the  Robert  Clarke  Company  of  said  city. 
Also  to  the  remarkable  work  The  lost  Solar  System  of  the  A?icienU  Dis- 
covered, by  Mr.  John  Wilson,  an  English  astronomer,  vol.  i.,  parts  i.  and 
ii.,  London  edition  of  1856. 


circle  divided  into  three  hundred  and  sixty  parts,  as  modern 
scientists  do ;  this  subdivision  representing  the  abstract  circum- 
ference value  of  the  celestial  circle,  being  the  mean  between 
355,  number  of  the  days  of  the  lunar  synodical  year,  and  365, 
the  number  of  the  days  of  the  solar  year.  The  Mayas  chose 
the  twenty-millionth  part  of  one-half  of  the  meridian — that 
is,  the  metre — instead  of  the  ten-millionth  part  of  the  distance 
between  the  poles  of  the  earth  as  did  the  Egyptians. 



Note  XIV.     (Page  105.) 

(1)  Having  explained  how  the  ancient  Maya  sages  came  to 
adopt  the  decimal  system  in  their  numeration,  and  the  metre  as 
a  standard  of  lineal  measures,  as  found  by  actual  survey  of  their 
ancient  temples  and  palaces,  I  will  premise  a  few  observations 
on  Dr.  Brinton's  chapters  on  "Maya  Measures'"  by  some 
lines  from  the  introduction  to  my  paper  on  "  Maya  and  Maya 
Inscriptions,"  published  in  the  "  Proceedings  of  the  American 
Antiquarian  Society, ' '  of  "Worcester,  Mass.  They  were  writ- 
ten by  Mr.  Stephen  Salisbury,  now  its  president.  This  gen- 
tleman has  many  friends  in  Yucatan,  a  country  which  he  has 
often  visited.  These  know  personally  Mrs.  Le  Plongeon  and 
myself.  They  are  well  acquainted  with  our  work  among  the 
ruined  cities  of  their  native  land. 

"  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Le  Plongeon  have  the  rare  advantage  of  an 
almost  continuous  residence  among  Maya  ruins  for  more  than 
seven  j^ears,  and  of  constant  relations  with  a  class  of  Indians 
most  likely  to  preserve  ti'aditions  regarding  the  past  history  of 
the  mysterious  structures  which  abound  in  Yucatan."^ 

It  being  settled,  I  hope  beyond  doubt,  that  we  have  stud- 
ied the  Mayas  where  they  can  be  thoroughly  studied — that  is, 
by  living  among  them  and  as  one  of  them — and  it  being  admit- 
ted that  such  being  the  case  we  ought  to  know  their  customs, 
manners,   traditions,  etc.,  better  than  any  one  who  has  not 

'  D.  G.  Bi-inton,  Esmii/s  of  an  Amerir.uiist,  pp.  433-439. 

°  Stephen  Salisbury,  ProiveJings  of  Am.  Antiq.  Soc,  April,  1881. 


even  set  foot  in  their  country,  may  I  be  permitted  to  ask  Dr. 
Brinton  a  few  questions  respecting  the  "only  measures''^  that, 
he  asserts,  were  used  by  their  ancestors  ?  If  these  did  not  use 
the  metric  system,  why,  in  speaking  of  the  size  of  the  pages  of 
the  Dresden  Codex,  does  he  say,  "  The  total  length  of  the  sheet 
is  3.5  metres,  and  the  height  of  each  page  is  0.296  metre,  the 
width  0.086  metre  "?' 

What,  in  the  name  of  common  sense  and  professorial  con- 
sistency, does  this  mean  ?  Does  he  not  assert  authoritatively, 
on  page  434  of  his  book,  "The  Maya  measures  are  derived 
directly  and  almost  exclusively  from  the  human  body,  and 
largely  from  the  hand  "  ?  ^  It  would  seem  that  the  apostrophe 
of  Festus  to  Paul  suits  his  case  exactly:  "  Thou  art  'beside 
thyself;  much  learning  doth  make  tliee  mad.^''^  The  first  duty 
of  a  teacher,  and  particularly  a  would-be  critic,  is  to  be  con- 
sistent with  himself.  Describing  the  size  of  the  Dresden 
Codex,  a  Maya  book,  he  should  have  said,  "It  is  three  and 
one-half  paces  long,  one  span  and  four  fingers  in  height, 
and  four  fingers  in  width. "  His  readers  would  then  have  been 
able  to  form  a  very  exact  idea  of  its  size,  particularly  had  they 
perused  the  half  dozen  pages  of  the  Maya  names  for  foot- 
step, pace,  or  stride  ;  for  the  distance  from  the  ground  to  the 
anlde,  to  the  knee,  to  the  waist,  to  the  breast,  to  the  neck, 
to  the  mouth,  to  the  top  of  the  head ;  then  for  the  width  of 
the  finger,  of  the  hand,  of  the  stretch  between  the  end  of  the 
thumb  and  each  of  the  other  finger  tips,  which  he  has  copied 
from  Dr.  Carl  Herman  Berendt's  notebook,  and  imposes  upon 
his  readers  as  being,  of  his  own  knowledge,  the  only  measures 

'  D.  G.  Brinton,  Essays  of  an  Americanist,  "  Maya  Codioes,"  p.  251. 
'  Ibid.,  work  quoted,  "  Maya  Measures,"  434^39. 
'  Acts  of  the  Apostles,  chap,  xxvi.,  verse  24. 


of  length  in  use  among  the  Mayas.  Unhappily  the  late  Dr. 
Berendt's  cast-off  philological  garments  are  a  misfit  on  Dr. 
Brinton's  figure.  He  does  not  know  how  to  wear  them,  nor 
that  it  is  not  always  safe  to  parade  with  the  feathers  of  a 
strange  bird,  though  the  feathers  are  paid  for  and  the  bird  is 

All  the  words  quoted  are  perfectly  correct.  The  German 
naturalist  certainly  noted  them  down  when  he  began  to  learn 
Maya,  from  the  mouth  of  the  natives,  not  because  he  believed 
that  the  learned  Maya  mathematicians  and  architects  had  no 
other  lineal  measures  than  these  rough  estimates,  which,  on 
the  other  hand,  are  not  peculiar  to  the  Mayas,  but  are  used 
by  ignorant  people  in  every  country,  and  even  by  those  who 
are  not  ignorant.  Do  we  not  say  ankle  deep  in  the  sand; 
knee  deep  in  the  mud;  waist,  breast,  chin  deep  in  the  water? 
Do  we  not  measure  distances  approximately  by  steps  or  strides  ? 
depth,  by  fathoms  ?  Describing  the  stature  of  a  horse,  do  we 
not  express  it  by  saying  it  is  so  many  hands  high  ?  Does  this 
mean  that  these  are  the  only  standard  measures  of  length  in 
vogue  among  us?  that  astronomers,  surveyors,  architects, 
and  mechanics  make  use  of  them  in  their  mathematical  compu- 
tations ?  Can  any  one  with  common  sense  be  guilty  of  such 
stupendous  absurdity  as  to  pretend  that  they  do  ?  Will  any 
intelligent  person  doubt  that  that  which  happens  to-day  among 
us  has  happened  in  all  times,  in  all  countries,  when  and  where 
skilful  workmen  have  wanted  accurate  measurements  to  carry 
on  their  undertakings  ? 

How,  then,  can  the  learned  Professor  of  Linguistics  and 
Archaeology  in  the  Pennsylvania  Universitj"  assert  that  the 
ancient  Maya  astronomers  and  architects  had  no  other  stand- 
ard of  lineal  measures  for  their  mathematical  calculations,  and 


then  attribute  to  my  eccentricity  the  statement  that  they  used 
the  metre  and  its  divisions  ? 

In  conclusion,  it  is  apparent  that  this  pedantic  display  of  a 
useless  nomenclature  of  Maya  names  for  what  he  calls  the 
standard  lineal  measure  of  the  Mayas,  was  not  published  so 
much  to  impart  to  his  readers  exact  information,  as  to  parade 
Dr.  Berendt's  knowledge  of  the  Maya  language,  while  con- 
veying the  impression  that  this  knowledge  was  his  own.  He 
should  have  remembered  the  saying:  "Those  who  live  in 
glass  houses  should  not  throw  stones;  "  to  which  I  wiU  add: 
If  they  venture  to  do  so,  they  should  at  least  wait  until  their 
neighbors  are  dead  and  buried. 


Note  XV.     (Page  105.) 

(3)  May  we  inquire,  without  being  accused  of  indiscretion, 
how  great  is  Dr.  Brinton's  acquaintance  with  this  most  inter- 
esting of  languages,  the  Maya  ?  It  must  indeed  be  quite 
extensive,  since  he  presumes  to  declare  authoritatively  that 
Abbe  Brasseur  "knew  next  to  nothing  about  it,"'  and  that 
Father  CogoUudo,  the  author  of  the  best  history  of  Yucatan, 
published  for  the  first  time  in  Madrid  in  1688,  although  he, 
during  twenty-one  years,  preached  the  gospel  to  the  natives 
in  their  own  language,  "  was  only  moderately  acquainted  with 
the  Maya  tongue. "  ^  This  is  indeed  a  singular  assertion.  How 
does  the  learned  doctor  know  it  ?  What  proof  has  he  that  such 
statement  is  true?  Has  he  the  pretension  to  expect  that 
students  of  Maya  civilization  Avill  accept  such  preposterous 
averment  because  he  makes  it  ? 

If  Abbe  Brasseur  "knew  next  to  nothing  about  the 
Maya,"  and  Dr.  Brinton  was  aware  of  this,  why,  instead 
of  making  for  himself  a  correct  translation  of  that  most  inter- 
esting ancient  Maya  prayer,  "  The  Invocation  to  the  God  of 
Bain, ' '  has  he  given  a  crippled,  curtailed  English  rendei'ing  of 
the  French  version  published  by  Brasseur,  and  offered  it  to 
his  readers  as  a  sample  of  Maya  composition  ?  Since  he  was 
intent  upon  imposing  on  them  this  deception,  as  he  did  not 
even  preserve  the  depth  of  fervor  exhibited  in  the  French 

'  D.  G.  Brinton,  Essays  of  an  Americanist,  p.  261. 
"  md.,  \1.  137. 


interpretation,  the  least  he  could  have  done  was  to  give  the 
invocation  complete. 

As  rendered  by  the  Spanish  translator,  it  means  little,  and 
Dr.  Brinton's  version  is  quite  as  meaningless,  whilst  the  Maya 
text  expresses  devotion  and  religious  sentiment,  and  is  for  us, 
at  this  late  date,  full  of  significance  and  information,  as  shown 
by  my  own  interpretation  (pp.  107,  108). 

This  is  the  Spanish  version  given  by  Brasseur  in  Vol.  II. 
of  Troano  MS.  (pp.  101,  102):  "  Al  asomarse  el  sol,  senor  del 
oriente,  en  las  cuatro  esquinas  del  cielo,  en  las  cuatro  esquinas 
de  la  tierra,  cae  mi  palabra  6.  cada  cuatro  punto,  a  la  mano  del 
Dios  padre,  de  Dios  hijo,  de  Dios  Espiritu  Santo. 

"  Al  levantarse  las  nubes  al  oriente,  61  subir  en  medio  de 
la  majestad  celeste,  a  las  trece  ordenes  de  las  nubes  el  que 
pone  en  orden  el  uracan  amarillo,  esperanza  de  los  senores  vis- 
itadores,  el  que  pone  en  orden  los  asientos  para  el  precioso  vino, 
con  el  precioso  amor  para  los  senores  cuidadores  de  milpas, 
para  que  vengan  a  poner  su  precioso  favor,  al  santo  grande 
Dios  padre,  Dios  hijo,  Dios  Espiritu  Santo. 

"  Yo  entrego  su  virgen  semilla  con  mi  santo  amor,  tu  tendras 
que  mirarme  un  momento;  yo  suplico  que  me  lleves  tu  ben- 
dicion  con  todo  tu  corazon  y  entregues  tu  santo  amor,  para 
alcanzar  tu  creciente  y  virgen  favor;  porque  es  precioso  entre- 
gar  en  la  mano  del  Dios  padre,  de  Dios  hijo,  de  Dios  Espiritu 

The  following  is  Dr.  Brinton's  pretended  interpretation  of 
the  Maya  text:  ^ 

"  At  the  rising  of  the  Sun,  Lord  of  the  East,  my  word  goes 
forth  to  the  four  corners  of  heaven,  to  the  four  corners  of  the 

'  D.  Or.  Brinton,  Essays  of  an  Americanist^  p.  167.  Compare  with  my 
own  version  of  this  invocation,  pp.  107,  108. 


earth,  in  the  name  of  God  the  Father,  God  the  Son,  and  God 
the  Holy  Ghost. 

"  When  the  clouds  rise  in  the  East,  when  he  comes  who 
sets  in  order  the  thirteen  forms  of  the  clouds,  the  yellow  lord 
of  the  hurricane,  the  hope  of  the  lords  to  come,  he  who  rules 
the  preparation  of  the  divine  liquor,  he  who  loves  the  guardian 
spirits  of  the  fields,  then  I  pray  to  him  for  his  precious  favor; 
for  I  trust  all  in  the  hands  of  God  the  Father,  God  the  Son, 
and  God  the  Holy  Ghost." 

Did  he  not  know  then,  does  he  not  know  now,  that  even 
with  the  admixture  of  Christian  ideas  as  Brasseur  received  it 
from  the  mouth  of  Marcelo  Ccmich,  mayoral  of  the  hacienda 
of  X-Canchakan  (who  also  recited  it  to  me),  if  the  mean- 
ing of  the  words  had  been  properly  rendered,  far  from  be- 
ing the  senseless  sentences  he  has  published,  he  would  have 
found  it,  as  it  is,  replete  with  curious  and  most  valuable 
information  ? 

Plis  rendering  of  the  Invocation  is  indeed  worthless,  but 
the  Maya  text  tells  its  o^vn  most  interesting  story.  From 
his  not  giving  a  proper  translation,  made  b}^  himself,  are  we 
to  infer  that  the  learned  professor  of  linguistics  does  not 
know  the  Maya  language  as  he  would  have  the  world 
believe  ? 

No  one  can  read  the  learned  anah'sis  of  the  Maya,  and 
the  comparison  of  its  grammatical  construction  with  that  of 
the  ancient  Greek,  by  the  scholarly  Brasseur,  which  forms  the 
introduction  to  his  "Elements  of  the  Maya  tongue,"'  in  the 
second  volume  of  the  Troano  MS.,  without  being  satisfied  that 
he  was  thoroughly  acquainted  with  said  language;  and  with- 
out acquiring  the  conviction  that,  b}^  attacking  the  memory 
of   a  great  scholar,  who   now   lies   silent    in   the   grave,    Dr. 


Brinton  has  given  another  proof  that  he  wants  to  build  for 
himself  a  reputation  for  learning  at  the  cost  of  that  of  fellow- 

In  mentioning  Balam,  the  Yumilcax,  the  "lord  of  the 
fields,"  the  learned  Professor  of  Archaeology  of  the  University 
of  Pennsylvania  confounds  him  with  the  Cliacs,  "  the  gods  of 
rain,"  "  guardians  of  the  cardinal  points."  "  These  Balams," 
says  he,  "are  in  fact  the  gods  of  the  cardinal  points,  and 
of  the  winds  and  rains  which  proceed  from  them,"  etc.,i  and  to 
prove  his  assertion  he  covers  several  pages  of  his  book  with  idle 
tales,  known  to  everybody.  They  are  current  to-day  among 
the  natives,  who  beguile  the  evening  hours  by  recounting  them 
over  and  over.  These  stories  have  no  relation  with  ancient 
traditions.  They  contain  as  much  teaching  as  the  stories  of 
"  Puss  in  Boots  "  and  "  Bluebeard." 

We  have  seen  (p.  103)  that  the  Cliacs  were  the  "gods 
of  rain,"  and  as  such  held  as  the  "keepers  of  the  fields,"  the 

'  D.  G.  Brinton,  Essays  of  an  Americanist,  "  The  Birds  of  the  Winds  " 
(p.  17n).  It  will  be  noticed  that  Dr.  Brinton  -writes  the  word  Balams  and 
gives  H-Balamdb  as  the  Maya  plural.  This  is  a  word  of  his  own  coinage. 
He  will  not  find  it  in  his  copy  of  Brown  Library  (Motul)  dictionary.  He 
does  not  seem  to  know  that  the  ancient  termination  ob,  as  sign  of  plural 
in  nouns,  has  not  been  in  use  for  very  many  years,  having  been  replaced 
by  ex,  second  person  jilural  of  the  personal  pronoun.  So  that,  if  in  ad- 
dressing his  workmen  he  should  say  to  them,  "  Palob  "  ("  Boys  "),  as  it  was 
proper  anciently,  they  would  cast  at  each  other  an  inquiring  glance,  the 
meaning  of  which  would  plainly  be,  "What  does  he  say  ?  But  should  he 
tell  them,  "  Palex  !  conex  banal  "  ("  Boys,  let  us  go  to  eat "),  he  would 
not  have  to  repeat  the  order  twice. 

Neither  does  he  seem  to  know  that  h  is  never  used  before  a  noun, 
except  as  a  mark  of  the  masculine  gender,  it  being  the  contraction  of  ah, 
masculine  article,  never  as  a  diminutive  or  particle  of  elegance.  In  that 
case  X,  contraction  of  the  feminine  article  ix,  is,  and  has  always  been,  em- 
ployed, even  before  a  masculine  noun,  as,  for  instance,  in  X-Kukulcan. 
But  this  is  regarded  as  affectation  on  the  part  of  the  speaker. 


good  genii  who  brought  fertility  to  the  earth.  Balam's 
office,  however,  is  quite  different.  He  is  the  lord  of  the 
fields,  the  protector  of  the  crops,  and  to  him  the  primiti^  of 
all  the  fruits  of  the  earth  are  offered  before  the  harvesting  is 
begun.  Is  he  an  imaginary  Being  ?  By  no  means.  His  name 
Balam  tells  who  he  is — an  anthropomorphism  of  the  puma, 
whose  clear,  shriU  whistle  rings  sharply  through  the  forests, 
breaks  the  stillness  of  the  night,  and,  waking  the  sleeping 
echoes,  sends  a  thriU  of  terror  coursing  along  the  spine  of  the 
superstitious  native.  How  came  he  to  be  looked  upon  as  the 
protector,  the  guardian  of  the  fields — Yunail  col?  Most 
naturally,  indeed. 

The  fields,  covered  with  their  abundant,  ripening  crops  of 
corn,  beans,  and  pumpkins,  are  nightly  the  resort  of  deer, 
peccaries,  rabbits,  and  other  herbivora  that,  during  the  day, 
sheltered  by  thick  foliage  from  the  fierce  rays  of  the  tropical 
sun,  roam  in  the  forests.  All  these  grass-eating  denizens  of 
the  woods  are  the  natural  food  of  leopards,  pumas,  cata- 
mounts, and  other  carnivora.  These  emerge  from  their  lairs 
after  sunset  in  search  of  prey.  In  the  twilight,  in  the  dark- 
ness, they  prowl  in  and  around  the  fields  where  they  know 
their  intended  victims  are  feeding.  Pouncing  upon  those 
nearest,  an  awful  struggle  for  life  takes  place.  Alarmed  by 
the  noise  and  the  despairing  cries  of  the  victims,  the  others 
seek  safety  in  flight,  and  the  crops  are  thus  saved  from  destruc- 
tion. This  is  why  these  self -constituted  protectors  of  the 
crops  came  to  be  regarded  as  natural  guardians  of  the  fields. 
Believing  that  the  pumas  and  leopards  obey  the  orders  of  their 
invisible  spirit  lord,  Balam,  the  natives,  with  appropriate 
ceremonies  called  Tich,  make  to  him  offerings  of  the  best 
fruits  of  their  fields.     (Plate  LXXII.) 

Page  $36. 

Plate  LXXIL 


Notwithstanding  his  pretensions,  Dr.  Brinton  does  not 
know  Maya,  even  remotely.  If  any  further  proof  were 
needed  of  the  truth  of  this  assertion,  it  would  be  found  in 
this  simple  sentence,  '' Piose  avito^  xnoch  cizin,^'  printed  in  his 
book  (p.  1Y4),  as  it  is  here,  in  italics;  as  is  also  his  Spanish 
translation,  which,  with  cause,  I  omit.  He  has  copied  both, 
original  and  translation,  from  a  manuscript  by  a  native  of 
Tihosuco,  named  Zetina,  who,  it  seems,  was  not  over  partic- 
ular in  the  choice  of  his  language.  I  wish  to  believe  that  the 
learned  Professor  of  Linguistics  is  but  httle  better  acquainted 
with  the  Spanish  tongue  than  with  the  Maya,  else  how  does 
he  dare  call  particular  attention,  by  printing  them  in  italics,  to 
words  that  no  gentleman  would  use  in  refined  society  ? — words 
that,  besides,  are  not  a  correct  translation  of  what  was  prob- 
ably intended  to  be  conveyed  in  the  Maya ;  the  exact  render- 
ing of  which  in  that  tongue  would  be,  "  Pixe  a  ito,  xnoch 
cizin,"  ^  whilst  the  intention  of  Senor  Zetina  was  to  write, 
"  Pixe  a  uitho,  xnoch  cizin."  Like  the  majority  of  his 
countrymen,  he  did  not  know  how  to  write  correctly  his 
mother  tongue.     It  must  be  confessed  very  few  do. 

The  first  lesson  in  Maya  taught  to  pupils  is  the  letters  of 
the  alphabet  and  their  proper  pronunciation.  At  the  same 
time  thej^  are  told  that  several  of  the  characters  forming  part 
of  the  Latin  alphabet  are  not  used  in  the  Maya ;  among 
these  the  letter  v. 

'  Avito  is  not  a  Maya  word.     It  has  no  meaning  in  that  language. 

°  I  might  be  censured  for  publishing  this  sentence,  which  is  a  verbatim 
translation  of  Dr.  Brinton's  Spanish.  My  excuse  for  doing  so  is  to  show 
that  the  learned  doctor  does  not  know  Maya,  which  is  an  unknown 
language  outside  of  the  countries  where  it  is  spoken  ;  I  do  not  therefore 
run  the  risk  of  shocking  the  sense  of  propriety  or  decency  of  my  readers  in 
this  or  in  European  countries. 


Dr.  Brinton  is  evidently  ignorant  of  this  elementary  fact. 
Throughout  his  book,  whenever  he  has  had  occasion  to  men- 
tion the  Maya  word  for  Tnan,  he  has  invariably  spelled  it 
mnio}  This  is  Quiche.  The  Maya  orthography  of  the  word 
is  uinic. 

In  the  fifteenth  and  sixteenth  centuries  the  letters  v  and 
u  were  used  indifferently  one  for  the  other.  Thus  it  is  that 
Landa,  CogoUudo,  Torquemada,  Las  Casas,  and  the  other 
writers  of  those  times  wrote  both  uinic  and  vinic.  It  is 
quite  different,  however,  in  our  day. 

It  is  evident  that  the  learned  Professor  of  Linguistics  does 
not  know  which  is  the  right  word  in  Maya  for  "man,"  any 
better  than  he  knows  what  was  the  true  name  for  each  of  the 
cardinal  points  among  the  Mayas,  although  Landa  gives 
them  very  explicitly.  Shall  it  be  said  of  Dr.  Brinton  as  of  the 
wooden  saints,  He  has  eyes  but  sees  not?  Or  has  he  also, 
perchance,  the  pretension  of  being  better  informed  on  that  sub- 
ject than  the  author  of  "  Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan  "  ?  In  every 
one  of  his  books  he  assigns  a  different  name  to  each  of  said 
points,  in  the  hope  of  perhaps  hitting,  in  one  at  least,  on  the 
right  name. 

For  instance,  in  his  book  "Myths  of  the  New  "World," 
article  "Quiche  Legends"  (p.  82),  he  magistrally  informs  his 
readers:  "The  four  known  by  the  names  of  Kau,  Muluc,  Ix, 
Cauac,  represent  respectively  the  east,  north,  west,  and  south. 
As  in  Oriental  symbolism,  the  east  was  j^ellow,  the  south  red, 
the  west  black,  the  north  white."  These  were  the  names  of 
the  guardians  of  the  pillars  that  sustained  the  vault  of  heaveu.^ 
In  his  "Essays  of  an  Americanist"  (p.  20J:),  the  author  seems 

'  D.  G.  Briuton,  Essays  of  an  Americanist,  pp.  176,  254,  438,  et  passim. 
"  Ihid.,  Myths  of  the  New  World,  p.  83. 


to  indorse  Prof.  Cyrus  Thomas's  interpretation  of  the  Maya 
signs  for  the  cardinal  points.  In  that  case  he  would  take 
Muluc  to  be  the  Tiorth,  Cauac  the  south,  Ix  the  east,  and 
Kan  the  west; '  but  he  does  not  know  that  the  signs  he  repro- 
duces are  not  the  names  of  the  cardinal  points,  nor  even  of  the 
genii,  guardians  of  the  same,  but  of  certain  localities  situated 
in  the  direction  of  said  points.  Again,  in  another  of  his  works, 
"  Hero  Myths,"  the  learned  doctor,  foUoAving  Bishop  Landa's 
assertion  that  in  his  day  the  Mayas  assigned  Kan  to  the 
south,  Muluc  to  the  east,  Ix  to  the  north,  and  Cauac  to  the 
west,  informs  his  readers  that  such  were  the  true  respective 
names  of  the  cardinal  points.^  But  he  probabty  reasoned. 
What  did  Bishop  Landa  know  of  Oriental  sjonbolism  ?  So  he 
casts  aside  Landa's  positive  teachings,  with  the  result  that,  to- 
day, he  does  not  know  which  are  really  the  names  of  said 
cardinal  points.  As  for  me,  I  positively  affirm  that  it  can  be 
demonstrated  that  Bishop  Landa  has  transmitted  to  us  the 
correct  name  of  each  point,  and  that  they  agree  with  those 
given  by  the  authors  of  the  various  Maya  books  and  inscrip- 
tions known  to  us,  notwithstanding  the  learned  Dr.  Brinton's 

On  October  16,  1887,  I  Avrote  to  him  that,  as  I  was  Avriting 
a  review  of  what  had  been  done  in  the  decipherment  of  the 
Maya  inscriptions  and  books,  I  would  be  very  glad,  so  as  not 
to  misrepresent  him,  if  he  Avould  be  kind  enough  to  tell  me 
which  of  the  names  he  looked  upon  as  the  real  one  given  by  the 
Mayas  to  each  particular  cardinal  point,  as  it  was  impossible 
to  find  out  his  opinion  from  his  own  Avorks. 

'  D.  G.  Bfinton,  Essays  of  an  Americanist,  p.  304. 

'  lUcl.,  Eero  Myths,  p.  209. 

^  Landa,  Las  Gosas  de  Yucatan,  cap.  xxxiv. 


Five  days  later — that  is,  on  October  21 — ^he  answered 

"The  first  time  I  visit  New  York  I  hope  to  have  the  pleasure  of  seeing 
you  and  Mrs.  Le  Plongeon,  and  then  I  should  like  exceedingly  to  hear  of 
your  discoveries,  and  also  to  explain  to  you  my  views  about  the  cardinal 
points  and  their  representations  in  the  Maya  hieroglyphs. 

' '  I  remain,  etc. , 

"D.  G.  Brinton." 

"Well,  Dr.  Brinton  has  never  called  upon  me,  nor  given  me 
his  views  about  the  cardinal  points  and  their  representations  in 
Maya  hieroglyphs,  though  in  August,  1887,  I  offered  him  an 
excellent  opportunity,  when  the  "  American  Association  for  the 
Advancement  of  Science ' '  met  at  Columbia  College  in  jSTew 
York.  By  request  of  Professor  Putnam  I  then  wrote  to  him, 
as  president  of  the  archseological  section,  asking  the  privilege 
of  reading  a  paper  on  "  Ancient  Maya  Civilization  "  before  its 
members.  I  did  not  read  such  paper;  neither  was  my  request 
refused;  but  the  envelope  containing  the  granting  of  it  reached 
me  exactly  three  weelcs  after  the  association  had  closed  its  ses- 
sions. It  had  been  sent  to  me,  by  mistake,  to  San  Francisco, 
Cal.,  instead  of  to  Brooldyn,  N.  Y. ;  at  least,  so  I  was  in- 
formed in  the  apologetic  letter  that  came  in  the  same  envelope. 

Dr.  Brinton's  essay  on  the  "  Maya  Phonetics,"  from  page 
196  to  205,  had  better  not  have  been  written,  much  less  pub- 
lished. Its  contents  are  most  misleading,  injurious  even,  to 
students  of  Maya  paleography,  who  might  place  reliance  on 
the  assumed  knowledge  of  the  author  on  this  particular  subject. 
The  following  statement  made  by  him  is  positively  inaccurate : 

"  Turning  first  to  the  Maya,  I  may  in  passing  refer  to  the 
disa]ipointment  which  resulted  from  the  publication  of  Landa's 
alphabet   by  the  Abbe  Brasseur   in   186-±.      Here  was  what 


seemed  a  complete  phonetic  alphabet,  which  should  at  once 
unlock  the  mysteries  of  the  inscriptions  on  the  temples  of 
Yucatan  and  Chiapas,  and  enable  us  to  interpret  the  script  of 
the  Dresden  and  other  codices.  Experience  proved  the  utter 
fallacy  of  any  such  hope.  His  work  is  no  key  to  the  Maya 
scripts."  * 

Now,  I  aiSrm  that,  if  it  be  true  that  the  characters  of 
Landa's  alphabet  are  not  of  themselves  a  complete  clew  to  the 
decipherment  of  Maya  books  and  inscriptions,  they  are  never- 
theless repeatedly  found  in  the  Maya  manuscripts  known  to 
us,  and  with  the  identical  value  attributed  to  them  by  Landa.^ 
I  furthermore  maintain  that,  with  the  names  of  the  days  and 
the  alphabetic  characters  preserved  by  him,  the  Maya  codices 
can  be  translated.  Of  course,  there  are  modifications  of  the 
same,  as  there  are  Avitli  our  mode  of  writing;  there  are  also 
composed  signs  as  there  are  composed  words  in  the  language. 
It  is  the  translator's  business  to  know  what  they  are. 

This  I  have  demonstrated  in  my  unpublished  worli,  "The 
Monuments  of  Mayach  and  their  Historical  Teachings," 
which  contains  translations  from  the  Troano  and  Cortesianus 
codices,   whose  authors  have  recorded  many  interesting  his- 

'  D.  G.  Brinton,  Esmys  of  an  Americanist,  p.  199. 

^  To          (^  exemplify  my  assertion,  let  us  take,  for  instance,  the 

character  J  | that  Lancia  tells  us  stands  for  nia,  adverb  of  nega- 
tion. No.  ®  ®  Is  it  not  identical  with  the  Egyptian  adverb  of 
negation,       r^       Nenf      But    ina,   radical    of    Mayach,    also   means 

"  land,"    I    I "country,"  both  in  Egyptian  and  in  Maya.     The  sign 

in  Maya  scripts  is  the  hieroglyph  for  Mayach ;  that  is,  the 
peninsula  of  Yucatan,  standing  between  the  Gulf  of  Mex- 
ico and  the  Caribbean  Sea,  both  represented  by  the  sign  | 
iiuix,  "bosom,"  "  bosom  of  the  deep."  The  Egyptian  word  Nen 
means  in  Maya  "mirror."  Nen-ha,  the  "mirror  of  water,"  is  said  to 
have  been  the  ancient  name  of  the  Mexican  Gulf,  on  account  of  its  almost 
circular  shape. 

^       © 



torical  events  that  occurred  ages  and  ages  ago,  and  which  have 
reached  us  in  the  guise  of  myths  and  misty  traditions. 

As  to  the  late  Abb6  Brasseur,  I  cannot  claim  the  honor  of 
having  been  personally  acquainted  with  him,  but  among  my 
friends  and  acquaintances  in  Yucatan  and  British  Honduras 
several  have  known  him  intimately  when  he  was  residing  in 
those  countries.  AH  agree  that  he  understood  and  spoke 
Maya  and  could  converse  freely  with  the  natives. 

The  late  Dn.  Juan  Villanueva,  a  well-known  lawyer  in  Mer- 
ida,  when  in  1873  I  made  his  acquaintance,  was  acknowledged 
by  his  countrymen  to  be  one  of  the  best  Maya  scholars  in  the 
country.  He  gave  Brasseur  his  first  lessons  in  that  language, 
and  was  proud  of  his  pupil,  who,  he. said,  learned  it  very  rap- 
idly. Dn.  Juan  now  sleeps  that  sleep  that  knows  no  wak- 
ing ;  but  I  can  testify  to  what  he  told  me.  Many,  however,  are 
still  living  who  were  intimatety  acquainted  with  the  learned 
Abbe,  and  who  have  also  assured  me  that  he  had  a  fair  knowl- 
edge of  the  language.  Among  these  I  may  mention  raj 
esteemed  friend  the  Bight  Bev.  Dr.  Dn.  Crecencio  Carillo  y 
Ancona,  now  bishop  of  Yucatan,  hunself  a  student  and  a 
thorough  3Iaya  scholar  ;  also  Dn.  Vicente  Solis  de  Leon, 
owner  of  the  hacienda  of  X-Canchakaii,  a  govermnent 
engineer;  Dn.  Bafael  Begil  y  Peon,  a  wealthy  merchant  and 
landed  gentleman;  Dn.  Jose  Tiburcio  Cervera,  a  planter, 
owner  of  the  lands  on  which  the  ruins  of  the  ancient  city  of 
Labnaa  are  situated.  All  these  gentlemen  are  well-known 
citizens  of  Merida,  who  have  imbibed  Maya  with  their  nurses' 

In  Belize,  ]Mr.  Henry  Trumback,  a  merchant,  whose  name 
is  mentioned  by  Abbe  Brasseur  among  those  of  the  persons  to 
whom  he  was  indebted  for  information  whilst  acquiring  data 


for  the  compilation  of  his  Maya  vocabulary  ;  Eev.  John 
Anderson,  a  Baptist  minister,  author  of  a  Maya  and  English, 
and  English  and  Maya  dictionary;  and  E.ev.  Father  Pitar, 
superior  of  the  Jesuit  college  in  Belize,  wherein  dwelt  the 
Abbe  Avhen  in  that  city,  have  assured  me,  all  and  each  one,  in 
particular,  that  they  had  been  well  acquainted  with  the  late 
Abbe  Brasseur  and  that  he  knew  the  Maya  language. 

Let  us  hope  that  the  testimony  of  such  witnesses,  and 
others  whose  names  I  could  mention,  will  suffice  to  wipe  off 
the  slanderous  aspersion  with  which  Dr.  Brinton  has  tried  to 
tarnish  the  memory  of  a  great  scholar. 

To  Abbe  Brasseur  belongs  the  honor  of  having  been  the 
first  to  bring  to  public  notice  the  existence,  in  our  day,  of 
ancient  books  of  Maya  origin,  when  in  1867  he  placed  on 
exhibition  in  the  Exposition  on  the  Champ  de  Mars,  in  Paris, 
some  of  the  proof-sheets  of  the  Troano  MS.,  which  was  then 
being  reproduced  under  his  supervision. 

In  November,  1864,  as  a  member  of  the  "  French  Scientiiie 
Commission ' '  which  went  to  Mexico  under  the  auspices  of 
the  French  Government,  he  landed  in  Yucatan,  and  at  once  set 
to  Avork  to  study  the  Maya  language  under  the  tuition  of  our 
friend,  the  late  Dn.  Juan  Villanueva,  a  great  Maya  scholar. 
He  was  unable  to  make  a  prolix  study  of  the  ruins  of 
Uxmal  on  account  of  the  many  difficulties  placed  in  his  way 
by  the  Imperial  Commissary. 

On  his  return  to  Europe,  he  found  in  Madrid,  in  possession 

of  Dn.  Juan  Tro  y  Ortelano,  professor  of  palaeography  at  the 

University,  an  original  American  manuscript,  which  at  a  glance 

he  recognized  as  being  written  with  characters  analogous  to 

those  he  had  seen  on  the  edifices  at  Uxmal.     He  obtained 

from  the  owner  not  only  the  loan  of   the  document  for  all 


the  time  he  might  need  it  for  his  study,  but  also  permission 
to  reproduce  it.  After  reaching  Paris  the  Abbe  applied 
himself  Avith  ardor  to  the  classification  and  deciphering  of 
the  characters  and  symbols  contained  in  the  manuscript, 
with  the  help  of  those  handed  down  by  Landa.  In  1869  he 
published  the  result  of  his  labors  in  his  work,  "Etudes  sur  le 
Systeme  Graphique  et  la  Langue  Maya."  In  it  he  announced 
that  he  had  discovered,  classified,  and  deciphered  two  hun- 
dred and  thirty-three  variants  of  the  thirty-five  alphabetic 
characters  of  Landa,  and  one  hundred  and  forty-one  variants 
of  his  twenty  sjanbols  of  the  days. 

With  this  vast  array  of  signs,  the  value  of  which  he  fancied 
he  knew,  and  with  his  knowledge  of  the  Maya  language,  he 
undertook  the  deciphering  of  the  texts  of  the  Maya  book. 
He  certainly  Avas  better  qualified  for  the  work  than  those  who 
after  him  have  attempted  it,  as  proved  by  the  resTilts.  StiU, 
not  only  have  they  criticised  his  interpretations,  without  how- 
ever offering  better  in  their  stead,  but  they  have  tried  to  belit- 
tle his  labors,  going  so  far  as  to  assert  that  he  had  hindered  for 
a  long  time  the  study  of  American  palaeography.  Yet  it  maj' 
be  asked,  What  have  his  critics  done  ?  Have  they  not  made 
use  of  his  works  in  their  endeavors  to  find  a  clew  to  the  mean- 
ing of  these  same  texts  ?  Have  they  not  built  a  reputation  for 
learning  on  the  debris  of  his  fame,  and  from  his  own  mate- 
rials, to  which  they  have  added  not  a  single  valuable  particle  ? 
Do  we  not  find  them  consulting  his  Maya  and  French  vocab- 
ulary, and  translating  ancient  characters  and  spnbols  by  words 
of  modern  coinage,  not  to  be  found  in  old  dictionaries,  and  that 
are  unknown  in  the  vernacular  of  the  natives  ? 

Brasseur's  vocabulary  is  decidedly  the  work  of  a  scholar. 
Were  it  mine  I  should  be  i)roud  of  it.     It  is  a  comparative 


study  of  Maya  with  ancient  Greek  and  other  languages, 
marred,  however,  by  his  having  taken  too  great  a  license  with 
the  language,  and  having  given  explanations  of  ancient  lore 
and  traditions  according  to  his  own  personal  bias  and  precon- 
ceived ideas.  Barring  these  blemishes,  it  is  a  most  valuable 
work  for  students  of  Maya  antiquities  and  of  philology.  So 
also  is  his  French  translation  and  rearrangement  of  Father 
Gabriel  de  San  Buenaventura's  "Arte  del  Idioma  Maya," 
which  he  transcribed  from  the  copy  in  possession  of  my 
honored  friend,  Bishop  Dn.  Crecencio  Carillo  y  Ancona. 

Although  his  many  scholarly  attainments  preeminently 
qualified  him  for  the  undertaking  of  the  interpretation  of  the 
Maya  texts,  his  great  drawbacks  Avere  his  preconceived  opin- 
ions on  the  one  hand,  and  a  strange  weakmindedness  on  the 
other.  The  first  led  him  to  see  analogies  and  similitudes  where 
none  existed,  and  to  launch  into  speculations  and  fancies  unsup- 
ported by  facts  and  lacking  evidence ;  the  second  caused  him  to 
be  influenced  by  criticisms  of  persons  incapable,  for  want  of  the 
necessary  knowledge,  of  judging  of  the  accuracy  or  inaccuracy 
of  his  renderings;  but  who,  in  their  dogmatic  ignorance,  pre- 
sumed to  jeer  at  the  idea  of  the  Troano  MS.  containing  an 
account  of  earthquakes,  of  the  subsidence  of  certain  countries 
and  the  upheaval  of  others,  of  volcanic  eruptions,  of  inunda- 
tions and  cyclones  and  other  geological  and  meteorological 
phenomena,  that  either  happened  in  the  writer's  time  or  a  rela- 
tion of  which  he  had  found  in  older  works.  Yet  it  is  Avell 
known  that  all  earljr  chroniclers,  speaking  of  the  books  found 
among  the  natives,  state  that  some  contained  the  events  of  their 
ancient  history;  that  they  had  treatises  on  archaeology,  med- 
icine, and  other  sciences;  and  why  should  not  the  Troano  be 
one  of  these?    Still  he  allowed  himself  to  be  persuaded,  and 


acknowledged  (p.  xxvii)  in  his  "  Bibliotheque  Mexico  Guate- 
malienne  preoedee  d'un  coup  d'oeil  sur  les  Etudes  Ameri- 
caines, "  that  he  had  begun  the  reading  of  the  Maya  text  at  the 
wrong  end ;  adding,  however,  that  his  translations  were  simply 
intended  as  Tnere  experiments.  Could  he  answer  from  beyond 
the  grave,  I  would  ask  him:  "  Abbe,  how  did  you  know,  when 
you  wrote  this  confession,  that  you  were  not  mistaken  again  in 
making  it  ?  You  had  not  learned  then  how  to  read  the  texts 
better  than  before;  you  did  not  even  know  it  at  the  time  of 
your  demise.  Friend,"  I  would  teU  him  could  he  hear  me, 
"  you  have  been  weak,  and  many  have  taken  advantage  of  your 
weakness  to  ridicule  you,  and  then  place  themselves  where 
you  ought  to  be,  by  making  use  of  your  own  discoveries." 

It  is  evident  that  he  had  no  reliance  on  his  ability  to  wade 
through  the  intricacies  of  the  Maya  symbols  and  characters ; 
and  that  he  did  not  notice  the  clew,  placed  by  the  author  of  the 
Troano  within  reach  of  his  readers,  like  another  thread  of 
Ariadne,  to  guide  them  out  of  the  mazes  of  the  labyrinth.  So 
he  took  no  heed  of  the  red  lines  that  divide  the  text  into  para- 
graphs, and  mark  to  which  part  the  illustrations  correspond. 
He  read  the  horizontal  lines  from  end  to  end,  mixing  discon- 
nected sentences  of  one  paragraph  with  equally  disconnected 
sentences  of  another,  then  beginning  the  reading  of  the  per- 
pendicular columns  at  the  bottom  instead  of  at  the  top;  the 
results  were,  of  course,  what  might  naturally  be  expected — an 
incoherent  jumble  and  senseless  phrases. 

He  likewise  interpreted  hterally  the  names  of  the  s3^nbols 
for  the  days,  many  of  Avhich  he  simply'  regarded  as  vai'iants  of 
the  originals  given  by  Landa,  not  l-eflecting  that  variation  in 
the  sign  implied  also  variation  in  the  meaning,  and  that  many 
of  the  characters  were  composed  of  the  elements  of  several 


others,  just  as  our  polysyllabic  words  are  formed  of  syllables 
found  ia  many  other  vocables  having  very  distinct  mean- 
ings. However,  through  his  acquaintance  with  the  significa- 
tion of  the  Maya  words,  and  the  works  of  the  early  writers 
and  chroniclers,  perhaps  also  guided  by  his  scholarly  intuition, 
he  felt,  more  than  he  really  made  out,  the  general  drift  of  the 
contents  of  the  Maya  text  which  he  attempted  to  interpret. 
So  he  became  convinced  that  in  his  writings  the  Maya  author 
described  volcanic  eruptions  and  other  geological  phenomena. 
By  publishing  his  convictions,  he  afforded  his  would-be  critics 
an  opportunity  to  condemn  the  results  of  his  labors,  although 
incapable  themselves  of  deciphering  a  single  sentence  of  the 
Maya  books. 

To  the  present  day  they  are  unable  to  correct  his  mistakes 
by  offering  a  true  translation  of  the  passages  which  they 
accused  Brasseur  of  having  improperly  rendered.  And  may  I 
ask  how  they  know  that  they  are  not  well  translated  ?  It  is 
the  same  old,  old  story  so  happily  expressed  in  these  few  French 
words :  I^a  critique  est  facile,  mais  Vart  est  difficile. 

This  recalls  to  my  mind  a  certain  conversation  which  I  once 
had  on  this  same  subject  with  a  French  antiquary,  a  member 
of  the  Societe  Ethnologique  de  Paris.  He  also  was  bitter  in 
his  denunciation  of  Brasseur's  interpretation  of  the  Troano. 

"  What  do  you  know,  personally,  about  translating  Maya 
writings  ?  Do  j'^ou  understand  the  Maya  language  ?  Can  you 
interpret  a  single  Maya  sign?  " 

"  No,"  he  answered,  "  but  Mr.  de  Rosny,  and  with  him  all 
authorized  Americanists,  have  condemned  Brasseur's  interpre- 

"  So,  so,  my  man,"  I  replied,  "  this  is  a  case  of  give  a  dog 
a  had  name  and  hang  him,  is  it  ?     Pray  tell  me  who  are  the 


authorised  Americcunists  f  Who  are  they  that  dare  pass  judg- 
ment on  the  efforts  of  a  fellow  student  and  condemn  him  ?  Is 
it  Mr.  de  Charencey,  whose  assertions  and  speculations  are 
not  worth  refuting?  "  ' 

"  Oh  !  "  replied  my  antiquary  friend,  "Mr.  de  Eosny  has 
severely  criticised  all  his  attempts  at  decipherment  of  Central 
American  inscriptions."^ 

"Yes,  I  am  aware  of  it;  he  has  also  bitterly  condemned 
those  of  Brasseur.  By  what  right,  pray  ?  Is  it  because  he 
has  published  large  volumes  on  Maya  palaeography  ?  "What  do 
their  contents  amount  to,  so  far  as  the  reading  of  the  Maya 
books  and  inscriptions  is  concerned  ?  True,  he  saj^s  that  since 
he  has  determined,  '' after  a  certain  fashion,^  the  value  of  the 
greatest  part  of  the  Maya  characters,  it  will  be  easy  to  read 
them.  But  he  himself  cannot  translate  a  single  sentence  of 
said  books ;  and  yet  he  seems  quite  proud  because  the  meaning 
of  a  few  words  interpreted  by  him  has  been  accepted  by 
some  authorized  Americanists,  whoever  these  may  be;  or,  in 
his  own  words,  '  J''ai  dmine,  dans  divers  receuils  la  lecture  de 
quelques  mots,  la  quelle  a  eie  aecej>tee par  les  americaiiistes  auto- 
rises.  ' '  And  do  these  quelques  mots,  which  he  thinks  he  has 
interpreted,  give  him  a  right  to  sit  as  judge,  and  enable  him  to 
pass  such  a  severe  verdict,  on  Abbe  Brasseur  ? 

"  What  I  say  of  the  French  applies  equally  to  the  English 
German,  and  American  Americanists.  They  have  not  advanced 
one  step  toward  the  interpretation  of  the  Maya  books  and 
inscriptions,  beyond  Brasseur's  attempts.      He,  at  least,  never 

'  H.  de  Charencey,  Essai  de  Dechiffrement,  Actes  de  la  Societe  Philohgique 
de  Paris,  vol.  i.,  No.  3,  p.  50,  Mars,  1870. 

'  Leon  de  Rosny,  Essai  sur  le  Dechiffrement  de  V^criture  de  V Amcrique 
Centrale,  p.  13,  Paris,  1870. 

"  Ibid.,  Le  Decliiffremcnt  de  VEcriture  Uieratique,  Introduction. 


designated  any  of  the  personages  who  figure  in  the  Maya 
books  as  does  Dr.  P.  Sohellhas,'  and  after  him  many  whose 
name  is  legion,  who  pretend  to  be  authorities  on  Maya  palae- 
ography, '  the  god  with  the  banded  face, '  '  the  god  with  the 
long  nose,'  etc.,  instead  of  giving  each  his  proper  title,  such 
as  Ppa  and  XJacach,  which  are  plainly  written  in  the  orna- 
ments that  adorn  these  anthropomorphic  personifications  of  the 
forces  and  phenomena  of  nature. 

"  They  assert  that  their  '  god  with  the  long  nose '  is  the  '  god 
of  rain,'  disdaining  to  take  heed  of  the  broad  hint  as  to  who 
he  is,  given  by  the  author  of  the  Dresden  Codex  on  the  lower 
division  of  plate  Ixv.  of  his  work,  where  he  represents 
XJacach  paddling  a  canoe,  under  which  a  big  fish  is  figured 
swimming  in  the  ocean.  May  we  be  allowed  to  ask  on  what 
occasion  the  '  god  of  rain '  had  to  paddle  his  own  canoe,  and 
when  big  fishes  swam  in  the  clouds  ? 

"It  may  truthfully  be  said  that  a  very  great  part  of  what 
has  been  published  in  modern  times  on  the  subject  of  Maya 
writings  can  only  be  ranked  with  comic  literature,  though  not 
very  amusing  either.  Even  the  beautifully  printed  papers  of 
the  Smithsonian  Institution,  on  the  subject,  are  as  meaning- 
less as  they  are  pretentious;  and  I  challenge  any  Americanist, 
authorized  or  not  authorized,  to  disprove  this  assertion. 

"  I  will  add:  more  than  any  of  those  who  have  followed  in 
his  wake  on  the  road  opened  by  him,  the  learned  Abbe  was 
competent  and  well  prepared  to  surmount  the  difficulties  with 
which  it  is  streAvn.  His  knowledge  of  the  Maya  as  well 
as  of  the  Quichd,  a  cognate  tongue  ;  his  acquaintance  with 
the  lore  and  traditions  of  the  Indians  of  Eabinal,  in  the  moun- 

"  Schellhas,  P.,  Die  Maya  Handschrift  der  Edliglkhen  Bibliotheh  zu  Dres- 
den, p.  149. 


tains  of  Guatemala;  his  sojourn  among  the  Quiches  and  the 
Mams  to  whom  he  administered  the  rites  of  the  Catholic 
Church,  and  preached  in  their  own  vernacular,  besides  his 
many  other  scholastic  attainments — I  repeat,  qualified  him 
preeminently  for  undertaking  the  interpretation  of  the  Maya 
texts.  He  erred  in  letting  his  imagination  and  his  pre- 
conceived opinions  blind  his  judgment.  But  who  on  earth 
is  perfect?  To  err  is  human.  Did  not  his  self-appointed 
judges  err  when  they  condemned  him  because  he  dared  say 
that  the  Troano  contained  the  narratives  of  geological  events  ? 
Yet  the  learned  Abbe  was  right  in  so  saying;  and  they  were 
wrong  in  presuming  to  pass  an  opinion  on  what  they  did  not 
know,  and  do  not  even  at  present.  Whilst  disapproving  his 
translation,  it  was  their  duty  to  point  out  where  it  was  incor- 
rect. Have  they  done  this  ?  JSTo !  Why  not  ?  Because  they 
themselves  are  unable  to  interpret  the  Maya  texts,  and  are 
ignorant  of  their  meaning. 

"  Instead  of  accusing  him  of  having  impeded  the  study  of 
Maya  palaeography,  they  should  have  thanked  him  for  having 
made  known  the  existence  of  Maya  books  in  Europe  in  our 
day.  These  books  had  been  preserved  in  libraries,  private 
and  public,  since  they  were  sent  to  Charles  V. ,  and  presented 
to  him  in  1520  by  Dn.  Francisco  de  Montejo,  the  conqueror 
of  Yucatan,  and  Porto  Carrero,  by  order  of  Hernando  Cortez, 
whose  companions  in  arms  they  were.  No  one  knew  in  what 
language  they  were  written,  nor  to  what  kind  of  alphabet  the 
characters  belonged,  until  Brasseur  recognized  them  as  being 
similar  to  those  preserved  by  Landa  in  his  work  '  Belacion  de 
las  Cosas  de  Yucatan,'  which  had  remained  unpublished  in  the 
library  of  the  '  Royal  Academy  of  History '  in  Madrid. 
Brasseur  again  unearthed  it  from  beneath  the  coating  of  dust 


where  it  had  lain  for  more  than  three  centuries,  and  in  1860 
had  it  printed.  Is  not  that  alone  sufficient  to  cause  his  mem- 
ory to  be  respected  by  all  students  of  American  archaeology?  " 

My  interlocutor,  who  had  been  hstening  with  manifest 
impatience  to  my  just  panegyric  of  the  learned  Abbe,  inter- 
rupted me  and  exclaimed:  "  Do  not  speak  so,  or  you  will  kill 
your  own  reputation  and  lose  the  fruits  of  your  own  labors; 
all  authorized  Americanists  wiU.  condemn  you  as  they  have 

"Indeed!  "Well,  sir,  they  are  welcome  to  do  it;  that  is, 
when  they  can  do  it  knowingly.  Meanwhile,  before  they  pro- 
nounce their  sentence,  let  them  remember  the  words  of  Themis- 
tocles  to  the  over-hasty  Eurybiades:  '  Strike,  but  heaeme!  '  " 


Note  XVI.     (Pages  132,  133.) 

(7)  This  custom  of  carrying  children  astride  the  hip  still  pre- 
vails in  Yucatan,  as  it  does  in  India  ("  Buddaghosha  Parables," 
translation  by  H.  T.  Eogers,  R.E.)  and  other  places  where  we 
find  Maya  customs  and  traditions. 

(1)  Landa,  "Las  Cosas  de  Yucatan  "  (p.  236):  "El  primer 
dia  del  ano  desta  gente  era  siempre  a  xvi  dias  de  nuestro  mes 
de  Julio,  y  primero  de  su  mes  de  Popp." 

ChampoUion  Figeac,  "  Egypte  "  (p.  336):  "  Or  pendant  plus 
de  trois  mil  ans  avant  I'ere  chretienne  et  quelques  siecles  apres 
cette  belle  etoile  (Sirius)  s'est  levee  le  meme  jour  fixe  en  Egypte 
(parallele  moyen)  un  peu  avant  le  soleil  (lever  heliatique)  et  ce 
jour  a  ete  le  20  Juillet  de  notre  calendrier  Julien." 

Censorius,  "  De  die  Natali,"  says  that  the  canicula  in  Egypt 
regularly  rises  on  the  first  of  Thoth,  that  corresponded  to  the 
20th  of  July,  1322  b.c. 

Porphyry  says  "  that  the  first  day  of  the  month  Thoth  and 
of  the  year  are  fixed  in  Egjrpt  by  the  rising  of  Sothis,  or  Dog- 


Note  XVII.     (Page  124.) 

(2)  During  the  reconstruction  of  the  temple  of  Jerusalem, 
under  the  reign  of  Josiah,  on  a  certain  morning  the  High  Priest 
Hilkiah,  in  the  year  621  b.c,  told  Shapham,  a  scribe,  that 
he  had  found  the  Book  of  the  Law  in  the  house  of  the  Lord. 
Shapham  took  the  book  and  presented  it  to  the  king,  who 
named  a  committee  to  go  and  consult  the  prophetess  Huldah 
regarding  the  genuineness  of  the  book.  She,  wise  woman  that 
she  was,  not  wishing  to  make  an  enemy  of  Hilkiah,  gave  an 
evasive  answer,  that,  however,  satisfied  the  king,  who,  it  seems, 
was  not  of  a  very  critical  turn  of  mind.  The  prevalent  opin- 
ion at  the  beginning  of  the  Christian  era,  regarding  the  author- 
ship of  the  Pentateuch,  was  that  Moses  never  wrote  the  book. 
(Clementine,  Homily,  II.,  §51;  Homily,  VIII. ,  §42.) 

IS^oTE  XVIII.     (Page  127.) 

(1)  Henry  Grose,  ' '  Voyage  in  the  East  Indies  ' '  (chap.  vii. , 
p.  95):  "Elephanta  Island,  near  Bombay,  contains  cave  tem- 
ples so  old  that  there  is  no  tradition  as  to  who  made  them. 
There  are  paintings  round  the  cornices  that,  for  the  beauty  and 
freshness  of  the  coloring,  not  any  particularity  in  the  design,  call 
the  attention;  which  must  have  lasted  for  some  tliousands  of 
years,  on  supposing  it,  as  there  is  all  reason  to  suppose  it,  con- 
temporary with  the  building." 


Note  XIX.     (Page  139.) 

(1)  The  acceptance,  by  a  young  girl,  of  a  fruit  sent  by  her 
lover  constituted  betrothal  among  the  ancient  Mayas,  as  it 
does  in  our  day  among  their  descendants.  In  Yucatan,  if  a 
young  man  wishes  to  propose  marriage  to  a  girl,  he  sends  by  a 
friend,  as  a  present,  a  fruit,  a  flower,  or  some  sweetmeat.  The 
acceptance  of  it  is  a  sign  that  the  proposal  of  the  suitor  is  ad- 
mitted. From  that  moment  they  are  betrothed.  The  refusal 
of  the  present  means  that  he  is  rejected.  A  similar  custom 
exists  in  Japan.  When  a  young  lady  expects  a  proposal  of 
marriage,  a  flower-pot  is  placed  in  a  convenient  position  on  the 
window-sill.  The  lover  plants  a  flower  in  it.  If  next  morning 
the  flower  is  watered,  he  can  present  himself  to  his  lady-love, 
knowing  that  he  is  welcome.  If,  on  the  contrary,  the  flower 
has  been  uprooted  and  thrown  on  the  sidewalk,  he  understands 
that  he  is  not  wanted. 

In  Egypt  the  eating  of  a  quince  by  two  young  people,  to- 
gether, constituted  betrothal.  So  also  in  Greece,  where  the 
custom  was  introduced  from  Egypt.  In  this  custom  we  find 
a  natural  explanation  of  the  first  seven  verses  of  the  third 
chapter  of  Genesis,  and  why  the  serpent  was  said  to  have 
offered  a  fruit  to  the  \\'oman. 


Note  XX.     (Pages  15,  155.) 

(1)  The  Mayas  held  Fire  to  be  the  breath,  the  direct  eman- 
ation of  Ku,  the  Supreme  Intelligence;  its  immediate  agent 
through  which  all  things  were  produced,  and  the  whole  crea- 
tion kept  alive.  Therefore  they  worshipped  it  as  deity  itself. 
To  it,  in  high  places,  they  raised  altars,  on  which  a  perpet- 
ual fire,  rekindled  once  a  year,  was  watched  by  priestesses 
whose  special  duty  was  to  see  that  it  never  became  extin- 
guished. These  were  recruited  from  among  the  daughters  of 
priests  and  nobles.  They  were  called  Zvihiiy  Kak,  "Vir- 
gins of  the  Fire.'"  At  their  head  was  a  Lady  Superior, 
whose  title,  Ix  naacaii-katun,^  meant  "  She  who  is  forever 

They  procured  the  new  fire  either  directly  from  the  rays  of 
the  sun,  or  from  the  shock  of  two  hard  stones,  or  by  rubbing 
two  pieces  of  wood  together. 

Among  the  symbols  sculptured  on  the  mastodon  trunks  that, 
at  a  very  remote  period  of  Maya  history,  embellished  the 
facades  of  all  sacred  and  public  edifices,  these  signs  are  occasion- 
Taken  collectively  they  read 
thunder,"  hence,  "fire." 

Far  deeper,  however,  is  their  esoteric  meaning.  The  inter- 
pretation of  each  individual  sign  reveals  the  fact  that  they 
form  a  cosraological  pandect,  or  treatise,  on  the  creation  of  the 

'  Cogolludo,  Hist,  de  Yucatlian,  lib.  iv. ,  cap.  ii.,  p.  177. 
■^  lUd. 


world.  They  thus  afford  us  a  glimpse  of  some  of  the  scientific 
attainments  of  the  learned  Maya  priesthood.  Their  knowl- 
edge they  communicated  in  the  mysterious  recesses  of  the  tem- 


pies,  where  the  profane  never  penetrated,  to  initiates  only. 
These  were  bound  by  the  most  solemn  oaths  never  to  make 
known  the  sacred  mysteries  there  taught,  except  to  those 
rightly  entitled  to  receive  them. 

Science  was  then,  as  it  is  even  to-day,  the  privilege  of  the 
few.  In  those  remote  ages  the  sacerdotal  class  and  the  nobility 
claimed  it  as  their  own;  now  it  is  that  of  the  wealthy.  True, 
in  our  times,  knowledge  is  denied  to  none,  px'ovided  the  appli- 
cant can  paj'  for  it,  and  no  one  is  under  oath  not  to  divulge 
what  he  has  learned ;  but  its  acquirement  is  costly,  and  beyond 
reach  of  the  majority. 

The  temples  of  the  Maya  sages  are  in  ruins,  slowl}'-  but 
surely  crumbling  to  dust,  gnawed  by  the  relentless  tooth  of 
time;  and,  what  is  worse,  recklessly  destroyed  by  the  iconoclas- 
tic hand  of  ignorance  and  avarice.     Sanctuaries  have  become 

Page  S56. 

Plate  LXXni. 


tlie  abode  of  bats,  swallows,  and  serpents.  Lairs  of  the  wild 
beasts  of  the  forests,  they  are  not  only  deserted  but  shunned 
by  human  beings,  who  stand  in  awe  of  them.  Where  now  are 
the  sages  who  used  to  assemble  within  their  sacred  precincts 
to  delve  into  the  mysteries  of  creation,  to  wrest  her  secrets  from 
the  bosom  of  Mother  Nature  ?  Do  their  spirits  still  hover  there, 
as  the  natives  assert?  Purified  from  all  earthly  defilement, 
have  they  been  reabsorbed  in  the  great  ocean  of  intelligence, 
as  Buddhists  would  have  us  believe  ?  Are  they  enjoying  the 
perfect  repose  of  Nirvana,  Avaiting  to  be  summoned  to  begin 
another  cycle  of  mundane  existences  in  more  advanced  plane- 
tary worlds  than  ours  ? 

To-day  I  surely  violate  no  oath  if  I  reveal  part  of  those 
very  teachings  that  the  adepts  of  old  so  carefully  kept  from 
the  multitudes,  whom  they  regarded  as  unAvorthy  to  participate 
in  the  divine  light  that  had  been  vouchsafed  to  their  minds ;  a 
principle  practised,  likewise,  by  the  Egyptian  priests,  and  that 
Clement  of  Alexandria,  Avho  had  been  initiated  into  their  mys- 
teries, proclaimed  hj  asserting  (Stromate  XII.),  "  The  mj^ste- 
ries  of  the  faith  are  not  to  be  divulged  to  all.  .  .  .  It  is 
requisite  to  hide  in  a  mystery  the  wisdom  spoken." 

I  Avill  premise  the  explanation  of  the  signs  under  consider- 
ation by  stating  that  they  teach  precisely  the  same  doctrine  re- 
garding creation  that  Ave  find  in  "  Primander,"  the  most  ancient 
and  authentic  of  the  first  philosophical  books  of  Egj^pt,  attrib- 
uted to  Thoth,  that  is,  Hermes  Trismegistus.  "Out  of  it 
[chaos]  came  forth  the  fire,  pure  and  light,  and  rising  it  Avas 
lost  in  the  air  that,  spirit-like,  occupies  the  intermediate  space 
betAveen  the  water  and  the  fire.  The  earth  and  the  Avater  Avere 
so  mixed  that  the  surface  of  the  earth,  covered  by  the  Avater, 
appeared  noAvhere." 


Again  we  read  in  the  Hermetic  books  on  the  origin  of  things : 
"For  there  were  boundless  darkness  in  the  abyss,  and  water, 
and  a  subtile  spirit,  intellectual  in  power,  existing  in  chaos." 

Berosus,  recounting  the  Chaldean  legend  of  creation,  says : 
"  In  the  beginning  all  was  darkness  and  water." 

In  Genesis  we  read:  "  In  the  beginning  darkness  was  upon 
the  face  of  the  deep,  and  the  Spirit  of  God  moved  upon  the 
face  of  the  waters." 

The  author  of  the  "  Popol-vuh  "  tells  us:  "  This  is  the  recital 
of  how  everything  was  without  life,  calm  and  silent;  aU  was 
motionless  and  quiet;  void  was  the  immensity  of  the  heavens, 
and  the  face  of  the  earth  did  not  manifest  itself;  yet  only  the 
tranquil  sea  was,  and  the  space  of  the  heavens." 

In  the  ' '  Manava-Dharraa-Sastra, ' '  we  are  told :  ' '  The  visible 
universe  in  the  beginning  was  nothing  but  darkness.  Then  the 
great,  self -existing  Power  dispelled  that  darkness  and  appeared 
in  all  his  splendor.  He  first  produced  the  waters;  and  on 
them  moved  Narayana,  the  Divine  Spirit. ' ' 

As  in  Egjqitian  so  in  Maya,  the  sign  /^  \  corresponds  to 
our  Latin  letter  h,  or  ch,  which  in  Maya  UlJ  is  pronounced 
with  a  peculiar  hard  accent,  clla. 

Ctia  is  the  radical  of  the  verb  cllab,  "to  create,"  "to 
bring  forth  from  nothing,"  "to  animate,"  "to  give  breath 
or  life."     Also  of  the  word  cllah,  "a  drop  of  water." 

Placed  as  it  is  in  the  inscription,  it  stands  for  its  heading  or 
epitome  of  its  contents. 

The  next  (^s\  is  a  complex  sign,  as  the  world  it  repre- 
sents. It  is  \xy  composed  of  a  circumference,  image  of  the 
horizon ;  of  a  central  point,  or  boss,  symbol  of  the  sun ;  and  of 
five  radii,  or  rays,  emanating  from  it.  These  rays  are  curved 
from  right  to  left,  to  indicate  the  direction  in  which  the  sun 


apparently  travels  every  day.  These  same  five  radii  stand  for 
the  numerical  "five,"  ho,  in  the  Maya  language,  radical  of 
hool,  the  "head,"  "that  which  is  above,"  hence  the  Deity, 
and  also  the  universe.  As  to  the  five  parts  into  which  the 
circle  is  divided,  they  probably  stood  for  the  five  great  conti- 
nents— North  America,  South  America,  Asia,  Africa,  and 

The  whole  sign  is  therefore  symbolical  of  the  world,  with 
the  Deity,  "the  sun,"  shedding  its  beneficent  rays  over  it,  as 
it  travels  from  east  to  west. 

We  have  just  seen  that  in  the  cosmogonies  of  aU.  civilized 
nations  of  antiquity,  in  Asia  and  Africa,  as  well  as  in  America, 
water  is  not  only  regarded  as  the  primordial  element,  but  is  said 
to  have  covered  the  whole  surface  of  the  earth.  The  Mayas, 
the  Chaldeans,  and  the  Egyptians  also  called  it  "J.,"  probably 
because  that  is  the  first  sound  uttered  without  constraint  by 
the  vocal  organs  of  infants. 

The  Mayas  graphically  represented  that  name  of  the  water 
by  a  circumference  Q,  the  shape  of  a  drop  of  water,  or  of 
the  horizon,  sometimes  with,  sometimes  without,  a  central  point, 
indicating  the  sun. 

When  inventing  the  characters  of  their  alphabet,  which  are 
mostly  images  of  objects  surrounding  them,  they  naturally 
assigned  it  the  first  place.  Thus  "  J.  "  became  the  first  letter 
in  the  alphabets  of  all  nations  with  which  they  had  communi- 
cations, and  it  is  yet  the  first  letter  of  the  majority  of  alphabets 
in  use. 

The  Egyptians  were  not  the  inventors  of  their  own  alpha- 
bet. They  attributed  it  to  Thoth,  their  god  of  letters.  Did 
they  learn  from  the  Mayas  the  name  and  shape  of  their  first 



"  J.  "  in  Maya  is  radical  of  many  words  conveying  the  idea 
of  humidity,  generation,  reviviscence.     A  few  will  sulBce. 

Aakal,  a  pond;  humidity;  as  a  verb,  to  become  green,  as 
the  plants  after  the  first  showers. 

Aakil,  to  revivify;  to  spring  back  to  life,  as  does  nature 
after  its  apparent  death  during  winter,  when  it  lies 

Ab,  is  the  breath;  the  respiration;  vapor. 

Ac,  to  prepare  for  cultivation  dried-up  swamps;  popula- 

tion; people. 

C\r%     This  last  sign  is  perhaps  the  most  comprehensive,  and 
t^  therefore  the  most  interesting. 

As  an  alphabetical  sign,  it  is  the  X  of  the  Maya  alphabet, 
pronounced  as  the  English  sh.  As  prefix  to  a  noun,  it  indicates 
the  feminine  gender,  being  a  contraction  of  ix,  the  feminine 
article.  In  the  inscription  under  consideration,  it  represents 
th.e  female  forces  of  nature.,  as  f  N,  component  part  of  Q, 
the  Maya  letter  corresponding  U\J  to  our  H,  stands  \D 
for  all,  the  masculine  article,  the  male  forces. 

The  character    Oo'  is  composed  of  two  C »^,     one  of 

the  signs  that  in  ^O  the  Maya  alphabet  is  equivalent 
to  letter  iV  in  ours.  As  a  distinct  symbol  it  is  found 
four  times  only  in  the  Troano  MS.  (plates  xx.,  xxi.,  xxiii., 
part  ii.). 

'  This  sign  has  been  mistaken  by  the  learned  Dr.  Henry  Schliemann  for 
a  svastica.  Quoting  my  name  in  his  work  Troja  (p.  122),  he  says  it  was  dis- 
covered by  me  in  the  mural  inscriptions  of  the  Mayas.  This  is  an  error, 
so  far  as  the  meaning  of  tlie  sign  is  concerned.  Neither  in  the  monumental 
inscriptions  nor  in  the  3Iaya  books  known  to-day  have  I  ever  found  ;i 
svastica.  I  am  not  aware  that  such  sj'uibol  was  used  bv  the  ancient  Maya 
sages.  It  may  have  existed  among  them,  however.  All  I  can  assert  is  that 
I  have  met  with  no  proof  of  it. 


The  author  of  this  most  interesting  work  informs  his  readers 
that  it  represents  the  "  boundaries  of  the  two  inclosed  basins  or 
seas;"  that  is,  the  two  American  mediterraneans,  the  Gulf 
of  Mexico  and  the  Caribbean  Sea — a  fact  easily  verified  by 
tracing  a  general  outline  of  the  shores  of  the  Gulf  of  Mexico 
from  Cape  Sable,  the  southernmost  point  of  Florida,  to  Cape 
Catoche,  the  northernmost  end  of  Yucatan;  then  continuing 
the  drawing  to  Cape  San  Antonio,  the  westernmost  extremity 
of  the  island  of  Cuba,  thence  following  the  general  contour 
of  the  western  shores  of  the  West  India  Islands  to  Grenada. 
The  curved  line  thus  obtained  will  be  precisely  the  sign  C — -^ , 
N,  initial  letter  of  the  ancient  names  Nen-lia  of  the  Mexican 
Gulf,  and  Nau  of  the  Caribbean  Sea. 

Does  not  this  sign  recall  that  over  which  stands  the  serpent 
^  with  inflated  breast,  emblem  of  Lower  Egypt  ?  Under 
Ady  it  is  the  image  of  a  sieve,  symbol  of  lordship  and 
dominion.  The  sieve  in  Maya  is  called  Mayab,  one  of  the 
ancient  names  of  Yucatan. 

The  character  X,  the  female  principle,  the  matrix,  is  the 
initial  letter  of  many  words  relating  both  to  water  and  to 

The  ancient  philosophers  held,  and  modern  physiologists 
teach,  that  all  living  things  had  their  origin  in  water.  It 
would  appear  that  the  Maya  sages,  in  remote  times,  had  dis- 
covered this  scientific  truth,  and  adapted  their  language  to 
this,  as  to  many  other  of  their  scientific  discoveries,  so  as  to 
express  them  in  as  concise  a  manner  as  possible.  So,  for 
instance : 

Xaa,        to  flow. 

Xaan,     to  flow  slowly.     It  becomes,  by  permutation. 


Nax,  to  shine  in  the  darkness,  as  fire;  the  divine  spirit 
floating  on  the  surface  of  the  waters;  or  the  phos- 
phorescence of  the  water  in  tropical  seas. 

Xaab,  the  abyss  of  water  in  which  took  place  the  genera- 
tion xab.  This  may  be  one  of  the  reasons  why  the 
wise  Maya  priests  selected  as  emblem  for  god  of  the 
ocean  the  mastodon,  that,  like  the  elephant,  could 
propagate  ordy  in  water. 

Now,  if  we  consider  the  ^JO  as  a  composite  sign  formed 
by  two  C — ^,  its  meaning  ^O  is  then  "power,"  "wis- 
dom," "knowledge,"  since  it  gives  us  the  word  ca-n, 
which,  as  we  have  seen  (p.  96),  is  always  significant  of  might, 
power,  intelligence,  as  all  vocables  allied  to  it.  Such,  for 
instance,  as: 

Kaan,  manifested,  raised. 

K.aauaat,  great  intelligence;  genius. 

Kanab,  the  sea. 

Kanha,  the  rain  storm. 

Kanchaac,  hurricane. 

Kauan,  that  which  is  necessary,  which  is  precious. 

The  doctrine  contained  in  the  three  signs  that  form  the 
inscription  can  therefore  be  epitomized  in  the  following  words : 
' '  In  water,  by  fire  the  vivifying  power  of  the  universe,  were 
created  the  male  and  female  forces  of  nature,  and  they  pro- 
duced all  things." 

A  glance  at  the  sculpture  of  the  dying  warrior  that  adorned 
Prince  Coh's  mausoleum  ^  suffices  for  us  to  see  that  the  ancient 

'Plate  LVIII. 


Mayas,  like  the  Egyptians,  G-reeks,  Chaldeans,  Hindoos,  and 
other  civilized  nations  of  antiquity,  held  that  the  mtal  princi- 
ple, the  soul,  in  man  and  animals,  was  an  igneous  fluid  that 
escaped  as  a  blue  flame  through  the  mouth  at  the  death  of  the 
material  body.  "  This  blue  flame,"  says  Baron  Charles  von 
Reichenbach,  in  his  work  "  Physico-physiological  Eesearohes 
in  the  Dynamics  of  Magnetism,  Electricity,  etc.,"  is  "often 
seen  escaping  from  dying  persons,  by  sensitives." 

We  learn  from  the  Hermetic  books  the  ideas  of  the  Egyp- 
tians regarding  the  composition  of  the  soul.  Fire,  a  constit- 
uent part  of  divine  intelligence,  becomes  a  soul  when  immersed 
in  organic  water,  and  a  body  when  it  enters  into  organic  clay, 
hence  the  old  philosophic  saying,  "  Corpus  est  terra,  anima  est 
ignis."  Hermes  Trimegistus  teaches  that  "at  the  moment  of 
death,  our  intelligence,  one  of  God's  subtle  thoughts,  escapes 
the  body's  dross,  puts  on  its  fiery  tunic  again,  and  floats  hence- 
forth in  space,  leaving  the  soul  to  await  judgment." 

Among  the  prayers  and  hymns  of  the  Yajur  Yeda,  there 
are  passages  in  which  the  unity  of  God  is  taught.  One  of  said 
prayers  begins  thus:  "Fire  is  the  original  cause;  the  sun  is 
that;  so  is  the  air;  so  is  the  moon;  such,  too,  is  that  pure 
Brahm,  and  those  waters,  and  that  Lord  of  creatures. "  {Asiatic 
Researches,  vol.  viii.,  p.  431.) 

Macrobius  in  his  work  "  Somnium  Scipionis  "  (cap.  xiv.), 
resumes  the  doctrine  thus:  "  There  is  a  fluid  luminous,  igneous, 
very  subtle,  called  ether,  spiritus,  that  fills  the  whole  universe. 
The  substance  of  the  sun,  of  the  stars,  is  composed  of  it.  It  is 
the  pi-inciple,  the  essential  agent,  of  all  motion,  of  aU  life.  It 
is,  in  fact,  the  Deity.  "When  a  body  is  about  to  become  animated 
on  earth,  a  globular  molecule  of  said  fluid  gravitates  through 
the  milky  way  toward  the  moon.     There  it  combines  with 


grosser  air,  thus  becoming  fit  to  associate  with  matter.  It  then 
enters  the  body  that  is  forming;  fills  it  completely,  animates 
it,  grows,  suffers,  expands,  contracts  with  it.  "When  this  body 
perishes  and  its  material  elements  dissolve,  this  incorruptible 
molecule  escapes  from  it.  It  would  return  immediately  to  the 
great  ocean  of  ether  were  it  not  detained  by  its  association 
with  lunar  air.  It  is  the  latter  that,  preserving  the  shape  of 
the  body,  remains  in  the  condition  of  shadow  or  ghost,  a  per- 
fect image  of  the  deceased.  The  Greeks  called  that  shadow 
the  image  or  idol  of  the  soul.  The  Pythagoreans  said  it  was 
its  vehicle  or  envelope.  The  rabbinical  school  regarded  it  as  its 
vessel  or  hoat.  If  the  individual  had  lived  a  righteous  life,  his 
whole  soul — that  is,  his  vehicle  and  his  ether — ascended  back 
immediately  to  the  moon,  where  their  separation  took  place. 
The  vehicle  remained  in  the  lunar  elysium ;  the  ether  returned 
to  God.  If,  on  the  other  hand,  he  had  lived  an  unrighteous 
life,  his  soul  remained  on  earth  until  it  became  purified,  wander- 
ing here  and  there  in  the  fashion  of  Homer's  shadows." 

While  in  Asia,  Homer  had  become  acquainted  with  this 
doctrine,  three  centuries  before  its  introduction  into  Greece, 
according  to  Cicero  {Tuscul.,  lib.  i.,  §16),  by  Pherecides 
and  his  pupil  Pythagoras,  who  pretended  to  be  the  inventors 
of  it,  if  we  believe  Herodotus.  He  positivel}'  asserts  that  the 
story  of  i:he  soul  and  its  transmigrations  had  heen  invented  hy 
the  Egyptians.'^    Did  these  receive  it  from  the  Mayas  ? 

Kak    is  the  Maya  word  for  "  fire." 

Ka       is  the  Egyptian  for  the  double;  the  astral  shape;  exist- 
ence; individuality. 
Kii       is  the  Maya  for  the  Divine  Essence;  the  God-head. 

'  Herodotus,  Hist.,  lib.  ii.,  cxxiii. 


Khu  =  Akh  is  the  Egyptian  for  intelligence;  spirit;  manes; 

light;  God-head. 
Kul,     Maya,  to  worship ;  to  adore. 
Khu  =  Akh,  Egyptian,  to  worship;  to  adore. 

' '  The  root  of  life  was  in  every  drop  of  the  ocean  of  immortal- 
ity, and  the  ocean  was  radiant  light,  which  was  fire,  am,d  heat, 
and  motion.  Darkness  vanished  and  was  no  more;  it  disap- 
peared in  its  own  essence,  tlie  hody  of  fire  and  water,  or  father 
and  mother.''''  (From  the  Book  of  Dzyan,  stanza  iii.,  §6. 
Apvd  H.  P.  Blavatsky,  "  The  Secret  Doctrine,"  vol.  i.,  p.  29.) 

The  ancient  Mayas  believed  in  the  immortality  of  the 
spirit  and  in  reincarnation,  as  do  their  descendants  to  this  day. 


Note  XXI.     (Page  158.) 

(1)  It  may  be  seen  from  the  following  passage  in  the  Saddh- 
arma  potmdarika,  "  The  Lotus  of  the  Good  Law,"  chap,  xx., 
entitled  "  Effect  of  the  Supernatural  Power  of  the  Tathaga- 
tas,"  '  that  the  putting  out  of  the  tongue  was  a  symbol  of  great 
wisdom  in  India.  This  chapter  is  a  record  of  what  took  place 
in  a  council  of  Bodhisattvas ;  that  is,  of  men  who,  having 
acquired  the  learning  necessary  to  teach  aU  creatures,  had 
arrived  at  the  supreme  intelligence  of  a  Buddha.  "  The 
hands  joined  they  worship  Buddha,  who  has  brought  them 
together,  and  they  promise  him,  when  he  shall  have  entered 
Nirvana,  to  teach  the  law  in  his  stead.  The  Master  thanks 
them.  Then  the  blessed  Qakyamouni,  and  the  blessed  Pra- 
choutavatma,  always  seated  on  the  throne  of  their  stoupa,  began 
to  smile  of  one  accord;  then  their  tongites  came  out  of  their 
mouth,  and  reached  the  world  of  Brahma.  .  .  .  The 
innumerable  Tathagatas,  by  whom  these  personages  are  sur- 
rounded, imitate  them." 

This  simply  means  that  all  these  wise  men  pronounced  dis- 
courses and  gave  their  opinions  on  the  matters  discussed  in  the 

(2)  Abbe  Hue,  in  his  work,  "  Recollections  of  a  Journey 
through  Thibet  and  Tartary "  (vol.  ii.,  chap,  vi.,  p.  158), 
says:   "  A  respectful  salutation  in  Thibet  consists  in  uncovering 

'  Apud  Bartlifilemy  de  Saint-Hilaire,  Vie  de  Bouddha,  pp.  71-72. 


the  head,  lolliiig  out  the  tongue.,  and  scratching  the  right  ear  at 
the  same  time. ' ' 

W.  Woodville  Eockhill,  in  the  Century  Magazine  (New 
York,  edition  of  February,  1891,  p.  606),  says :  "  The  draw- 
ing out  of  the  tongue,  and  at  the  same  time  holding  out  both 
hands  pabns  uppermost,  is  the  mode  of  salutation  near  Dre-chu, 
in  Thibet.  ...  At  I'Hasa,  capital  of  Thibet,  the  mode 
of  salutation  consists  in  one  sticking  out  his  tongue,  pulling 
his  right  ear,  and  rubbing  his  left  limb  at  the  same  time." 






A,  meanings  of  letter 
Afghanistan,   names  of  places  in, 

Maya  words      .... 
Akkadian  treatises,  copies  of  old, 

ordered  by  Assurbanipal    . 

the  scientific  language  of  the 


and  Maya  languages  com- 

Akkad,  its  Maya  meaning    . 
Altar  in  Prince  Coil's   Memorial 

Hall  7 

America,  its  ancient  history  never 

taken  into  account       .        .        .10 

the  oldest  continent       .         .     ix 

,  hypotheses  regarding  its  peo- 
pling and  civilization  .  viii 

Analyses  of  sign  of  negation  Ma, 

239  (note),  liii 

Ancients,  the,  generally  acquainted 
with  size  of  earth        .         .  307 

Ancient  Maya  buildings,  regard- 
ed with  awe  by  natives        .        xxxii 

Maj'a  structures,  their  build- 
ers unknown  to  natives  xxxiii 

buildings  in  ruins  at  time  of 

Spanish  invasion  xxxii 

Ancona,  Bligio,  biographical  sketch,  181 

Annals,  Maya,  destroyed  and  hid- 
den   Iviii 

Antagonism  of  the  brothers  Coll 
andAac    .        .  .        .  123 

Arts  and  sciences,  abhorred  by 
early  Christians  .  .         .   xiv 

Art,  works  of,  destroyed  .  196 

Aryans,  had  no  idea  of  a  created 
universe  .         .         .18 

Ashes,  preserved  in  heads  of  statues 
in  Mayacli.  In  Egypt,  like- 
ness placed  on  coffin  lid      .        .     88 

Asps,  emblematic  of  royalty  in 
Egypt  ...  .5 

Aspersions  of  Dr.  Brinton      .         .  199 

Asshur,  god,  name  of  Maya  ori- 
gin        43 

Astronomical  tables,  Hindoo,  the 
oldest,  the  most  accurate     .    183,  185 

Attitude  of  respect,  alike  in  May- 
acli and  Egypt  .  131 

Baal,  god,  his  name  Maj'a  .     GO 

Baao,  cynocephalus  in  Mayacli, 

attendant  of  God  of  Death         .  115 
Babel,  its  Maya  etymology  .    34 



Babylon,  Maya  etymology  of  its 

Chaldean  names  .         .         .33 

Babylonian  standard  of  measures  .  207 
Balain,  why  regarded  as  protec- 
tor of  crops         ....  284 

and  CliaCS  not  the  same      .  233 

Balch^,  sacred  liquor  (note)  111 

Bel-Marduk,  god,  his  name  Maya,     73 
Bird,  emblem  of  Deity  in  Sandwich 

Islands 74 

offering  to  God  of  Rain  .  Ill 

,  symbol  of  principal  female 

divinity       ....  13 

Blue,  mourning  color  of  Mayas,    89 

, of  Egyptians        .    90 

Books,  Maya,  written  in  alpha- 
betical characters        .         .  xxxi 
Brahmins,  origin  of,  obscure         .     17 

borrowed  their   science  from 

others 17 

Burmah,  Mayas  in      .        .        .  201 

Can,  title  of  Maya  rulers  .        .      4 

,  its  important  meanings        .     93 

Cans,  initiated  into  Sacred  Mys- 
teries .         .  ...  300 
Carchemish,  commercial  city  of  the 

Khati  .  ....     62 

Cardinal     points,     Maya,     how 
named  .  ...  336 

,  genii   of,    according  to 

Maya  writings  .        .  219 

Carian  and  Maya  woman's  dress,      03 
Caribbean  Sea,  its  emblem  a  deer  .  xliv 
Carthaginians,  America  A'isited  by,    xii 
Carvings  of  lintel  at   entrance   to 
Prince  Coli's  funeral  chamber. 
Their  meaning     .         .         .  122 

Central  America,  ancient  Maya 

Empire         ...  .5 

Clialdeans,  primitive,  Maya  colo- 
nists   .  .        .  .29 

,  strangers  in  Babylonia  .     33 

.  their  name  a  Maya  word    .     33 


Chaldeans  used  the  metre      .        .  207 
Chaldean  magicians  exorcised  with 
Maya  words  .  .40 

magicians  first  welcomed,  and 

later    condemned    to    death,    in 
Rome 39 

Challenge  to  Dr.  Brinton        .         .  204 
Children,  carried  astride  the  hip  in 

Mayaell  and  India  . 
Cocom,  killed  by  his  nobles 
CogoUudo,  biographical  sketch  of 

wrote  the  most  complete  his- 
tory of  Yucatan  xxxiii. 

Consulting  fate  on  the  entrails  of  a 
peccary        .         .  .         . 

Cosmic  egg,  origin  of  all  things 

Cosmic  diagram,  Chaldean  and 
Hindoo  amplifications  of  the 

Cosmogonic  conceptions,  epito- 
mized in  names  of  cardinal  num- 
bers    .  .         . 

notions,  base  of  Maya  reli- 
gious conceptions 

Creator,  his  attempts  to  make  a 
perfect  man 

Creation  Tableau,  explained  . 

,  figure  in  cosmic  egg  of 

Creation,  various  accounts  of 

Cremation  of  bodies 

,  preparation  of  bodies  for 

Criticisms  on  Abbe  Brasseur's  work. 

Cross,  emblem  of  Rain  God  among 

rarely  found  in  Maya  sculp- 

Custom  of  proffering  love  with  a 

Curio  hunters,  guilty  of  leze-his- 
tory xxiii 

Cynocephali,  represented  with  God 
of  Death  at  Uxnial  .        .        .  115 

Cynocephalus,  indigenous  to  Cen- 
tral America,  not  to  Egypt         .  116 














.  110 





Danavas,  of  Maya  origin     .        .      2 
Decimal  system,  use  of,  proved  by 

Maya  ruins       .        .        .        .211 

,  why  used  by  the  Mayas,  220 

used  by  Egyptians         .  310 

Defilement,  presence  of  corpse  a, 

(note)  138 
Defence  of  Abbe  Brasseur  .  .  240 
Desert  of  Shur,  its  name  a  Maya 

word 58 

Destruction  of  Mu,  described  by 

Maya  authors  146 
told  in  the  names  of 

the  Greek  letters  .        .  149 
narrated  in  Egyptian 

archives 149 

Dhyan  Chohans,  four  Maharajahs 

of  the  Hindoos    .        .  .217 

Diagram,  mystic,  of  the  Mayas  .  220 
Dragon,   emblem    on    banners    of 

Khans  in  Asia    .  199 

Dress  of  laborers,   alike  in   Ma- 

yacll  and  Egypt        .  .  132 

,  Maya,  in  olden  times .         .     83 

Drowned  valleys  of  Antillean  lands,  xliv 
Durability  of    pigments    used  by 

Mayas 88 

Early  Christians  plunged  Western 

Europe  into  ignorance  xv 
Egyptian  civilization,  infancy  of, 

unknown              .                            .  01 

• ,  its  origin  must  be  sought 

in  the  West                  .        .  53 

Art,  maturity  of    .                 .  301 

Sphinx,  the  enigma  of  history,  159 

,  opinion  of  various  wri- 
ters regarding  it          .         .         .  159 

painted  red    .                 .  95 

,  its  position  relative   to 

the  pyramid                                  .  100 

,  buildings  surrounding  it,  IGO 

,  names  at  base  of  .         .  161 

,  whose  portrait  was  it   .  102 

Egyptian  pyramid,  king's  chamber, 
measurements  of         .         .         . 

Egyptians  pointed  to  the  West  as 
home  of  their  ancestors 

not  of  Aryan  stock 

,  primitive,   strangers    in  the 

valley  of  the  Nile 

received  their  sciences  from 

the  Mayas 

Emblems,  Maya,  interpreted 

■ ■  of  the  universe,  the  simplest 

that  of  the  Mayas    . 

End  of  Can  dynasty     . 

Enmity  of  Sun  and  Serpent,  tradi- 
tional among  all  nations     . 

Entablature  of  Memorial  Hall, 
meaning  of  ornamentation 

Errors  of  Abbe  Brasseur 

Esoteric  meaning  of  cardinal  num- 
bers, Maya 

of  numbers  in  various 

countries     . 

doctrine  of  creation,  Maya,  316 

cosmic  diagram  of  Mayas    .     16 

Evolution  of  creation,  doctrine  of, 
among  various  ancient  nations  . 

,  Maya  doctrine  of 

Exact  sciences  known  to  the 














Failure  of  scholars  to  read  Maya 
hieroglyphics      .  .  348 

Pate,  read  by  ceremony  of  Pou, 

(note)  129 

Feast  of  Feralia     .  .  10 

Feathers  worn  by  kings  and  war- 
riors .  .  .  xlv 

,  insignia  of  gods  and  kings, 

(note)  100 

Festival  of  ancestors,   among  all 
nations  at  same  time  of  year  1 1 

First  Principle,  the,    a  thrice  un- 
known darkness .  .  319 

Fire,  the  essential  element     .    187,  301 



Francisco  De  Cordova,  first  Span- 
iard who  landed  in  Mayacli,  xxviii 

French,  modern  measurements  of 
the  earth,  accord  with  those  of  a 
remote,  unknown  race     .         .  208 

Fresco  paintings,  at  Cliicllen, 
admired  by  John  h.  Stephens    .  200 

in  Memorial  Hall  .         .       6 

disfigured  by  visitors     .  127 

,  history  of  Prince  Coli 

in 6 

Funeral  customs  of  Mayas  and 
Egyptians  .  ...     84 

urns,  charred  viscera  pre- 
served in  red  oxide  of  mercury 

in 87 

vases,     Canopi     in     Egypt. 

Maya  meaning  of  word    .        .     85 

Genii    of     the    cardinal     points, 

Maya  and  others  .  .  .86 
Geometric     symbology      of      the 

Mayas  and  others  .     15 

Gift  of  cloaks  to  victors  in  athletic 

games .  .  ...  132 
Goddess  Isis,  the  bird  an  emblem  of,  13 
God  of  Rain,  invocations  to  .  .  104 
symbolized  by  image 

of  Southern  Cross  .  .  .109 
Greek    alphabet,    why    letters    of 

same  value  are  placed  apart  .  150 
Gucumatz,  emblem  of  Creator        .     71 

Hakaptah,  a  Maya  word  .  .  48 
Hanuman,     veneration     for,      in 

Ceylon         .  .        .  78 

Hapimau,   name   of  Nile,   Maya 

etymology   .  .         .  47 

Hieroglyphics,    Maya,    not    llic 

same  as  tliose  of  Copan  and  Pa- 

lenijue         .         .         .         .         .81 

on  Kabul  mound,  interpre- 
tation of  .  .   1!)7 

,  l>Iiiya,  their  true  koy  found,    198 


Homen,  God  of  Volcanic 
Forces       ....  (note)  148 

Horned  snake,  sacred  in  Egypt 
and  Mayacli    .        .  .5 

,  symbol  of  royalty  .       5 

Huldah,  prophetess,  consulted       .  251 
Huns,   were  they  the  founders  of 
Copan,  Palenque,  etc.  ?       .         .  189 

Immaculate  Conception,    doctrine 

of,  its  origin  ....  220 
Immortality,  the  Mayas  believed 

in        .        .  ...  261 

India,  British  invasion  of  .  .  195 
Inscription   on  Creation   Tableau, 

Egyptian  and  Maya  .  .  70 
on  mastodon  trunk,  esoteric 

meaning  of  .         .         .  260 

on  Kabul  mound  in  Egyp- 
tian characters   ....  199 

Intimate  relation  of  Mayas  with 

primitive  Chaldeans  .         .     72 

Invocation  to  God  of  Kain.     Its 

historical  interest  .    100,  232 

Islitar,  goddess,  her  name  Maya,      60 
Isis,   the  Good  Mother,  in  Egypt, 
like  Maya  in  Greece,  India,  and 
Mexico        ...  .167 

Itzaes,  abandoned  their  homes    .  xxx 
Izanial,  description  of  stucco  bas- 
relief  at       ...  .197 

Jehovah,  name  of,  numerical  value  231 
Jesus,    last  words    spoken    by  in 
Maya  tongue    .        .  .38 

Kabul,  Afghan  capital   .  195 

temple  in  Izanial        .  196 

Kanaau,  a  Blaya  word  58 

Katish,    nanio   of   the    city   of,  a 

]>Ia>a  word  .  .  63 
Khan  or  Cau,  its  meaning  .  199 
,  Eastern  title,  emblematized 

as  a  dragon  .  199 



Khati,  name  of  the,  a  Maya  word,     61 
King  jMenes,  his  name  a  Maya 

word 48 

Knowledge  among  Mayas,  privi- 
lege of  priesthood  and  nobility,  xxxi 

Land  of  Mu,  pride  of  the  ocean  .  144 
,  its  emblem  after  de- 
struction ....  xliv 

,  its  ten  provinces      .     66 

,  Plato's  Atlantis        .    xli 

Landa,  Bishop,  a  Maya  scholar  .      li 
,  his  biography        .        .        .169 

destroyed  Maya  books         .  170 

preserved  Maya  letters  and 

signs  for  days  .         .        .171 

Language,  gauge  of  a  nation's 
spirit 1 

,  an  accurate  guide  in  trac- 
ing relationship  between  various 
peoples        ...  .  xvi 

,  a  knowledge  of  Maya  nec- 
essary for  understanding  sculp- 
tures   112 

Legend  on  each  side  of  cosmic 
egg,  its  explanation    .         .         .74 

Leleges,  ancient  name  of  Carians, 
Maya  .       .  .63 

Lilcbabi,  etymology  of  the  name    .     36 

Lineal  measure,  true  standard  of 
the  Maya .  .  .213 

adopted  by  the  Mayas,  224 

Lip  ornaments,  American      .         .  118 

Lizana,  Bernardo,  biographical 
sketch  of  .        .        .        .181 

Magic   words,   supposed  cure    for 

hydrophobia,  Maya  .  .  .41 
Map  of  Maya  Empire  explained  .  xliii 
Masons,  wandering,  measured  the 

circumference  of  the  earth  .  208 

Mastodon,  God  of  the  Ocean  .         .  110 
Mausoleum    of    Prince    Coll    at 
Chicheii  .  .155 

Maya  Empire,  emblems  of,  ex- 
plained        1 

,  a  powerful  nation  in  remote 

ages    .        .  .        .     xxxviii 

colonists  settled  on  the  banks 

of  the  Nile  in  Nubia  .        .         .44 

called  their   settlement 

Maioo 44 

origin  of  tree,  serpent,  cross, 

and  elephant  worship  .        .     25 

— —  rulers,  how  represented  after 

death 5 

- — —  Empire,  symbolized  as  a  tree,  xlix 
represented  as  a  serpent,  125 

buildings,  some  of  vei7  gi'cat 

antiquity     .  .       xxxiii 

colonists  called  the  Valley  of 

the  Nile  Chem,  also  Ain  j  mean- 
ing of  these  names      .        .         .47 

sages  believed   America  the 

oldest  continent  .        .        .        .     xi 

esoteric  meaning  of  yellow         93 

mother  of  gods  and  men         .     73 

remains,  destroyed  by  curio 

hunters  .         .  xxiii 

books   reveal  origin  of  some 

myths  and  traditions  .         .         .  xvii 

conquest  of  India  anterior  to 

the  Aryan  .        .         .        .22 

geographers  acquainted  with 

contour  of  American  continent  .     59 

civilization,  ancient,  unknown 

to  chroniclers  .       xxxiv 
,  decadency  of,  its  cause,  xxxi 

books,  description  of      .         .174 

a  universal  name  among  na- 
tions of  antiquity  .  x 

writings  relate  the  destruc- 
tion of  Plato's  Atlantis  xviii 

colonists,  went  to  the  land  of 

Canaan        ....  57 

history  written  in  books        .       5 

etymology  of  the  name  Brah- 
ma, and  of  that  of  the  Cosmic  egg,     24 



Maya  history,  important  events 
carved  in  stone  ....       6 

philosophers,    their    notions, 

cosmogonicand  others,  portrayed 

in  sculpture         .        .        .        .74 
etymology  of  the  word  by  vari- 
ous authors  .         .         .        .39 

and  Hindoo  cosmic  evolution 

identical 16 

migration  to  the  banks  of  the 

Nile,  antiquity  of        .         .         .55 

not  a  dead  language,  an  aid 

in  finding  origin  of  ancient  civi- 
lizations       20 

word  tor  fire,  analyses  of       .  262 

■ names    among    all    civilized 

nations  of  antiquity    .        .        .58 
Mayas  addicted  to  giving  nick- 
names   35 

scientists  and  artists      .  Iviii 

,  Cans  called  themselves  Chil- 
dren of  the  Sun  ....  xlvi 

■ likened  the  earth  to  a  caldron 

and  to  a  calabash        .        .         .  Ixii 

colonizers,  astronomers,    and 

architects    .         .         .  (note)  2 

used  vegetable  colors     .  128 

ate  the  hearts  of  enemies  slain 

in  battle  .        .         .  157 
,  traces  of  the,  found  in  all  his- 
torical nations  of  antiquity         .      3 

and  Aryans  seem  to  have  had 

no    communication    with     each 
other 21 

believed  in  reincarnation       .  139 

believed  in    the    eternity  of 

being 90 

,  treatment  of,   and   of   their 

descendants,  by  the  Spaniards    .  176 

highly  civilized,   great  navi- 
gators .         .  .         .       1 

believed  the  breatli  of  life  to 

be  fire       ....  155 
,  their  astronomical  knowledge,  333 





Mayas  familiar  with  trigonome- 

an  eminently  religious  people, 

— —  did    not    artificially  deform 

their  skulls  .         .  81,  158 

geologists  and  geographers    .  xliv 

established  colonies  west  of 

the  River  Indus  .... 

established    colonies    in    the 

country  called  Akkad 

little  acquainted  with  rules  of 

perspective . 

— '—,  proofs  of  their  communication 
with  natives  of  Asia  and  Africa,    xv 

adopted  religious  practices  of 

Nahuatls  .         .         xxxi 

and  Egyptians,  acquired  civ- 
ilization from  same  masters 

intensely  patriotic  . 

believed  that  the    spirits  of 

their  great  men  reanimated  stat- 
ues in  which  their  ashes  were 

Mayach,  fruit  offering  a  pro- 
posal of  marriage  in    . 

,  not  India,  mother  of  nations 

,  great  personages  of,  deified,  xxxi 

Mayapan,  ruins  of     .  105 

,  city  of,  destroyed  .         .         .  xxx 

Meaning  of  the  name  Akkad,  a  puz- 
zle for  scholars;  its  interpretation 

of  Prince  Coh's  name  . 

Measurements  of  Maya  gnomon  . 
Mehen,  serpent  accompanying  the 

Creator  in  Egypt 
Memorial  Hall  of  Prince  Coll  at 

Chiclieu,  by  whom  erected 

,  description  of 

Metre,  its  use  by  the  ]>Iayas 
Migration  into  Egypt,  Bunsen's  es 

timate  of  dates 
Misiir  and  Muzur,  names  of  Egypt 

]>Iaya  etymology  of 
Mizraim,  Maya  elyniology  of 









Mode  of  wearing  the  hair  by 
Maya  and  Egyptian  matrons 
in  mourning        .         .  .84 

Moloch,  the  god,  his  name  a  Maya 
word   ......     CI 

Mongols  In  America       .         .        .  190 

Monkey  worship  in  Mayacli,  77,  116 

in  India 

Monkey-god  Thoth,  great  price 
olfered  for  his  image  by  an  In- 
dian prince  .... 

Monkeys  worshipped  by  Egyptians, 

,  men  changed  into,  because  of 

their  iniquities    . 

sacred     in     Babylonia     and 

Japan  ..... 

buried  in   reserved    spots  in 

Egypt  and  Guatemala 

Mu,  Land  of,  its  destruction  re- 
corded by  Mayas  and  Greeks 

:  history  of  its  de- 
struction preserved  by  many  na- 
tions ... 

its    destruction    recorded    in 

stone  ...... 

Brahmins  acquired  knowl- 
edge from  the      .         .         .         . 

serpent  worshippers 

,  their  origin  unknown  to  Indi- 

anists  . 

,  theii'  conquests 

,  their  rajahs  called  khans 

rulers   held   sway  over    Hin- 

dostan  before  Aryan  invasion     . 

originally  Maya  adepts 

,  meaning  of  the  word 

Nahuatl  sacrifice    . 

Nahuatls  invaded  Yucatan  and  de- 
stroyed cities       .... 

Name  of  Maya  Empire,  accord- 
ing to  Maya  books 

of  Carians  and  Caribs,  same 

meaning      .         .  .         . 










Name  of  God  Asshur's  dwelling- 
place,  of  Maya  origin  43 

Names  of  Greek  letters,  their 
Maya  meaning        .        .        .151 

of    Egyptian     gods,   Maya 

words 49 

Natives  of  Yucatan,  their  character  178 

worship  ancient  im- 
ages   .  .         .  178 

adhere  to  ancient  re- 
ligious practices  .        .      xxxvii 

Nose-rings  worn  in  America  .        .   118 

Number  four  in  the  cosmogony  of 
many  nations      .        .        .        .94 

Number  ten  sacred  to  the  Maya 
and  other  ancients     .        .  231 

Numbers  and  geometrical  figures 
honored  with  names  of  gods       .  318 

Number  thirteen  basis  of  Maya 
computation        .        .  .  211 

,  its  adoption  discussed  by 

professors   .         .  .         .211 

Cannes,  brought  civilization  to 
Mesopotamia       .         .        .        .20 

,  Maya    etymology    of     the 

name  ......     26 

Ocean,  its  Maya  names,  and  their 
meanings     .  .         .  180 

likened  to  a  serpent  .     71 

Offerings  to  the  dead,  in  Ma- 
yacli, Egypt,  and  India    .  8 

in  China,   Japan, 

Peru,  and  elsewhere   ...       9 

Offerings  of  foDd  to  the  dead  in 
Yucatan      .  .         .     10 

Origin  of  nobility  .        .  .97 

of  ill-luck  being  attributed  to 

number  thirteen  .  (note)  147 

of  British  foot  measure,   (note)  76 

of    enmity    between    woman 

and  serpent         .         .  .  142 

Ornaments  in  use  among  ancient 
Mayas 117 



Osiris  portrayed  as  a  leopard         .  165 
Outrages,  Spanish,  during  conquest 
of  Tucatan  .        .        .        xxxv 

Pacab,  Don  Lorenzo — lineal  de- 
scendant of  kings  of  Muna      .  106 

Paintings  in  cave  temples,  Ele- 
phanta  Island      ....  251 

Palenque,  were  its  inhabitants 
Huns  ? 189 

tablet  explained .         .         110-113 

Pdt^la  (Central  America),  mother 
country  of  Nagfis       .         .     100,  194 

Pentateuch,  not  written  by  Moses,    251 

People  represented  in  sculptures, 
at  Copan,  Palenque,  Manche, 
etc.,  not  Mayas 

Phallic  worship,  origin  of 

Physiognomy,  Maya,  compared 
with  that  shown  in  sculptures  at 
Palenque,  Copan,  and  Quirigua . 

Pontiff  Cay,  consulting  fate  by 
entrails  of  a  fish 

Pope  Sylvester  II.,  pupil  of  Moor- 
ish philosophers 

Posca,  what  made  of      .        (note) 

Position  of  priest's  hand  in  cere- 
mony of  Pou 

of  great  personages'  hands, 

after  death,  alike  in  Maj^acli 
and  Egypt 

Priests  of  Osiris  wore  leopard  skin 
over  ceremonial  dress 

Prince  Coll,  loading  his  warriors  .  136 

,  his  charred  heart  pre- 
served in  red  oxide  of  mercury  .  136 

portrayed  as  a  leopard, 

willi  human  head 

,  his  heart,  part  of,  chemi- 
cally analyzed 

slain  by  his  brother  Aac 

as  Osiris  was  by  his  brollicr 
Sel  .  .  .  158 

Priiu-c  Aac  bocauu'  a  (vriint  .   143  ! 



.  130 





Prince    Aac    vanquished     Queen 
Moo  .        .  ...  142 

proffered  love  to  Queen 

Mdo,  by  a  present  of  oranges  .  139 

in  presence  of  the  Priest,  134 

incited    civil     religious 

war     .... 
Pshent,  crown  of  Lower  Egypt  in 

Maya  sculptures 
Ptah,  Egyptian,  the  Creator,  born 

from  an  egg        .         :        .         . 
Pyramids  in   Yucatan,  invariably 

twenty-one  metres  high      .         .  224 
Pythagoras's  teachings  regarding 

numbers 219 


.  125 


Queen   Mdo,  consulting  fate  by 

Pou     .... 

,  offer  of  marriage  to 

built    in    Cliicheii    a 

memorial  haU  and  a  mausoleum 

to  the  memory  of  her  husband   . 
,  her  refusal   of   Prince 

Aac's  love  brought  misery  to 

Iier  and  to  her  country 
,  her     flight    from     the 

"West  Indies 
,  her  flight  recorded  by 

author  of  Troano  MS. 
,  her  arrival  in  Egyjit,  re- 
ceived with  open  arms        .   xix, 
called   loin,  corrupted 

into  Isis 

called  Man  in  Egypt 

may  be  the  builder  of  the 

Egyptian  Sphinx 








Uabbis   extol   number  twenty-one 

beyond  all  others        .         .         .76 
Rays    around    cosmic    egg.    their 

number,  emblem  of  the  Creators,     70 
Kod,  distinclive  color  of  nobility,  89-95 

,  symbolical  of  power  99 

.  its.  moaning  in  Mava  .        .  103 



Red  always  used  for  seals  among 
ancient  Egyptians       .        .         .  102 

hand  in  Mayacli,  Polyne- 
sia, and  India     .         .         .  100,  101 

,  mark  of  ownership       .  102 

Reincarnation  believed  in  by 
Mayas      .  ...  263 

Religious  ideas  embodied  in  sacred 
edifices 223 

Rephaim,  a  Maya  word       .         .     59 

Respect  for  elders  in  Mayacli 
as  in  Egypt         .        .        .  132 

Royalty,  yellow  its  distinctivecolor, 


Royal  brothers  and  sisters  united 
in  marriage         ....  131 



Sacred  Pour,  in  India  and  Ma- 
yacli . 

word   "  Aum  "   explained  by 

Maya  language         .        .       13, 

mode  of  writing  Maya  no 

longer  understood  at  beginning 

of  Cliristian  era  xxxi 

Sati,  a,  Maya  word,  name  given 
by  Egyptians  to  the  Rephaim     . 

Science,  the  privilege  of  the  few    . 

Scientific  knowledge  revealed  in 
Maya  architecture 

Sculptured  portraits  used  as  fu- 
neral urns 

Sculptures  in  Mayacli,  colored  as 
in  Greece  and  otlier  countries 

Scidpture  of  dying  warrior,  on 
Prince  Coil's  mausoleum  . 

Self-torture  by  devotees  of  Goddess 
Kali     .        .  ... 

in  America 

Selk,  goddess,  deification  of  West 
Indies,  name  of  Maya  origin     . 

Serpent,  emblem  of  the  Creator- 
its  Maya  origin 

,  emblem  of  the  Creator  among 

Mayas,  Egyptians,  and  others, 


.  224 













Serpent,  supposed  wisdom  of,  pos- 
sible origin . 

,  scales  of,  form  background  to 

figure  of  Creator  in  tableau  at 

,  antagonism  of  Sun  with 

,  offering  of  fruit  by,  ex- 
plained      .        .  .         . 

.  emblem  of  Mayacli  . 

Set,  god  of  the  Khati     . 

Seven-headed  serpent 

Sign  of  negation,  Maya  and  Egyp- 
tian alike  .         .  liv,  239 

,  Maya,  shape  of  the 

Yucatan  peninsula      .        .  i.v 

,  Egyptian,  its  origin 

unknown      .         .  .  iv 

for  Land  of  the  West,  alike  in 

Mayacli  and  Egypt . 

Sieve,  one  name  of  Yucatan,  Egyp- 
tian symbol  of  dominion 
,  why  chosen  by  the  Egyptians 

as  symbol  of  power 
Similarity  of  Maya  and   Hindoo 

architecture  and  customs    . 
Skulls  deformed  by  some   Pacific 

Islanders     . 
Soul,  escape  of  the 
Sphinx,    totem    of    Prince   Coh, 

adorning  his  mausoleum 
Sri-Santara,   names   of   its  various 

parts  are  Maya  words 
,  an  araplifieation  of  the 

Maya  cosmic  diagram 
Standard  lineal  measure,  why  the 

Mayas  adopted  the  metre 
Statues  of  deceased  persons,  made 

by  the  Mayas 

provided  with  shell  eyes  and 


colored  in  Eastern  countries 

as  in  America 

in  the  East,  as  in  America, 

provided  with  eyes      .        .         .192 














Statues  of  Maya  rulers,  conven- 
tional posture  of,  explained        .     59 

Stone  circles,  their  meaning  .        .     15 

Story  of  enmity  between  the  woman 
and  the  serpent   ....  142 

Survey  of  Maya  buildings  care- 
fully made 203 

Symbolism,  a  knowledge  of,  neces- 
sary for  the  understanding  of 
Maya  sculptures       .        .        .  112 

Taba,  word  of  Maya  origin  .     48 

Tau,  Egyptian,  explained  by 
Maya  language         .        .        .  110 

Tehom,  the  deep,  a  Maya 
word   ....  .73 

Thalatth,  her  name  of  Maya  ori- 
gin .  ...     39 

Thibet,  corpses  preserved  in  mer- 
cury in 191 

Thirteen,  computation  by,  to  com- 
memorate date  of  cataclysm        .  146 

Thotli,  God  of  Wisdom,  as  eyno- 
cephalus  monkey,  second  God  of 
the  Dead 114 

,  God  of  Letters,  its  name  a 

Maya  word       ....     78 

Tiamat,  monster,  name  of  Maya 
origin 72 

Tiaii-Chilians,  "Sacred  Pour" 
of  the  Mayas    .        .        .        .216 

Ticll,  religious  ceremony  in  honor 
of  the  God  of  the  Fields  .     62 

T-Mu,  god,  personification  of  At- 
lantis   9Q 

Tongue,  the  putting  out  of  the, 
symbol  of  wisdom         .         .  264 

Tradition  of  Sandwich  Islanders 
regarding  creation       .        .         ,74 

Triangle,  apex  upward  fire,  apex 
downward  water  .         .         .15 

Troano  JIS.  made  known  by 
Abb(5  Brasseur    ....  243 

,  why  thus  called    .         .         .  175 

Troana  MS.,  its  author  gives  a 
clue  to  the  reading  of  his  text    .  244 

,  description  of  the .        .        .  174 

,  a  precious  scientific  and  his- 
torical document         .  .175 

,  Part  First,  plate  xxii. ,  Trans- 
lation of      ....         .    Ivi 

,  Part  Second,  plate  xiii. ,  Trans- 
lation of      ...        .  (note)  Ix 

Tzidon,  a  Maya  word  .        .        .59 

Tzur,  a  Maya  word      .        .        .60 

Umbrella,  insignia  of  royalty  in 
Maya        ....  128 

Universe,  Maya  conception  of     .  2l'5 

Urukh,  Maya  etymology  of  the 
name  of       .         .         .         .         .36 

Uxnial,  escutcheon  of .        .  xlvi 

Vase,  hung  from  necks  of  the 
dead  in  Egypt     .         .  85 

,  placed  on  the  abdomen  of  the 

dead  in  Mayacli  85 

Virgins  of  the  fire  .  .         .  253 

Votive  offerings      ....  101 
Vulture,  symbol  of  Goddess  Isis    .     12 

Water,  primordial  substance .         .     73 

,  analysis  of  the  Maya  word 

for 259 

Western  continent,  mentioned  by 
classical  authors  .     xi 

West  Indies  called  by  Mayas 
"  Land  of  the  Scorpion "     .         .    xli 

West,  the,  regarded  by  Egyptians 
as  place  of  the  dead,  where  Thoth 
exercised  his  duty  as  Scribe        .  116 

Winged  Serpent,  insignia  of  roy- 
alty in  Mayacli,  like  the 
winged  dragon  in  Asiatic  coun- 
tries   .  .  129 

Winged  circles  in  America,  Egypt, 
and  Assyria,  origin  of         .  217 

Words  written  on  Belshazzar's  ban- 
quet hall  were  Maya         .        .     37 




Work  of  Abbe  Brasseur         .        .  243 
Worship  of  elephants,  of  Maya 

origin Sf) 

of  cross,  of  Maya  origin      .     25 

of  serpent,  of  Maya  origin  .    25 

of  tree,  Maya  origin    .        .    25 

Year,  began  on  same  day  in  Ma- 

yacli  and  Egypt  .        .250 

Yucatan,  description  of  thecountry, 


Yucatan,  its  various  names  .        .  xxix 

,  Peninsula  of,  represented  as 

a  shoot  and  a  veretrum      .         xlvii 

Zactalab,  modern  God   of   the 

Crops,  its  worship  by  natives  of 

Eastern  Yucatan 
Zahi,  name  given  to  Phoenicia  by 

the  Egyptians.     A  Maya  word, 
Zinaan  (Scorpion),  name  of  West 

Indies,  Maya    .... 

.  179